December 5 2005

Ananomouse Corporation Participates in the Formulation of Mass Disaster Strategies

Following the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, scientists and investigators involved in the process of collecting and identifying victim remains have come to understand that new strategies are required to effectively manage disasters that comprise so many victims. Difficulties encountered during subsequent analysis of the disaster revealed that techniques developed for smaller disasters required substantial re-tooling in order to manage identification of the approximately 3000 victims and tens of thousands of tissue fragments recovered.

Participating in a joint policy document by the Kinship and Data Analysis Panel (KADAP) - formed after the WTC disaster to recommend suitable DNA identification strategies - members of Ananomouse Corporation’s scientific team have co-authored DNA Identifications After the 9/11 World Trade Center Attack in the November 18th issue of the journal Science. "We are pleased that the KADAP panel and our colleagues Dr. Leclair and Dr. Carmody are receiving widespread review of their findings, and that some scientific benefit may be salvaged from this experience," said Christopher Sears, Ph.D., Ananomouse Corporation’s scientific lead. Based on the collective experience of experts involved in the WTC investigations, the policy paper recommends a number of strategies that should be adopted by government and industry in order to ensure that future disasters do not leave us unprepared:

  A standardized practice should be developed for data collection, as well as for emotional counsel;

  Research and development should be dedicated to the tasks of improving the speed and accuracy or DNA typing systems;

  There should be an availability of software capable of integrating the various cycles of the investigatory process;

  There should exist an infrastructure of data communication and management to allow for rapid transmission between the various stages of identification;

  Standard criteria for determining end-points should be designated early in the identification process.

  External prioritization of the identification process should be reduced;

  Practices should be enacted to validate innovative identification techniques;

"The results of these studies represent a road map in the management of large scale disasters, identifying the steps necessary to ensure quick and effective identification of victims," said Benoit Leclair, Ph.D., co-author of the study. "If policy recommendations are implemented, investigators would be left with the principal tasks of sample collection and identification instead of the ad hoc development of the surrounding infrastructure requirements." The Bloodhound™ identification technology developed by Ananomouse Corporation has taken advantage of the lessons learned by the KADAP panel and leads the way in implementing the strategies which have been proven a necessity in the light of modern mass fatality incidents.