New Rapid DNA testing helps to identify California wildfire victims

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY  (ABC4 News) – With so many still unaccounted for after the deadly California wildfires, a new technology is helping bring closure faster to those families who lost loved ones. 

It’s called Rapid DNA, and it’s the same technology used right here in Utah to help solve crimes. It’s made by a company called ANDE.

DNA testing that before would take months or even years now can take under two hours because of this new Rapid DNA technology. It may not look like much, but the machine is changing the way DNA is tested and it’s also helping identify remains of those killed in the California wildfires.

“It’s a new technology. This is the first time that it’s being used for this purpose, in helping identify victims of a mass casualty disaster, with their family members,” said Keith Squires, Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Relations for ANDE.

He says the instrument is very accurate, and you can get results in under two hours. It takes a DNA swab from the cheek of an immediate family member and compares it to the remains of a possible victim. Squires says their only hope is to help these family members get answers as soon as possible.

“As we became aware of the tragedy and the impact on the families and the victims in northern California, our system provides an opportunity for the families to help find closure,” said Squires.

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