GeneLab, a local firm into medical laboratory services, has reposed confidence in the recovery of the economy after investing in a new genetic facility in the country.
The facility, an addition to the company’s services, is expected to provide solutions such as forensic test, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing and paternity test.
The state-of-the-art Promega Spectrum Compact which is the first of its kind in West Africa will provide efficient access to high end molecular biological services.
With this facility, the country is well positioned to speed-up crime investigations by undertaking DNA forensics test and analysis locally which otherwise would have been outsourced to firms outside the sub-region.
Speaking to the media at the opening of the new facility in Accra on September 16, a Director of GeneLab, Dr Yaw Ofori-Adjei, observed that with the new genetic facility the company was now in a better position to engage more molecular biologists who had nowhere else to practice.
“The facility allows efficient forensic tests that can help to identify the culprit of crime in real time.
DNA is an acronym which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is the genetic material of living organisms. DNA is found in almost all the human cells and provides the instructions needed to grow, function, and respond to the cell’s environment. DNA is passed on from parents to offspring.
DNA paternity testing is the use of DNA profiles to determine whether an individual is the biological parent of another individual. Paternity testing can be especially important when a child’s paternity is in doubt. Tests can also determine the likelihood of someone being biologically related as grandparent, uncle or aunt, full sibling or half-sibling.”
The Director stated that the company will explore an opportunity to make its facility available to state security agencies in order to help aid investigations.
He observed that in the past, researchers often turned to people’s ABO phenotypes when parentage issues arose; however, the ABO blood group information could only be used to exclude potential fathers, rather than confirm the presence of a parental relationship.
He said in recent times analysis of biological relationships among individuals were based on DNA analysis and sequencing techniques.
He said this approach has proved exceedingly useful; in fact, current marker-based methods of analysis yield test results that were both 99.99 per cent accurate and applicable in a variety of settings.
The Director stated that GeneLab as part of its molecular testing services has by this new investment added the test of biological relationships based on DNA to its core business aside from its other business of COVID-19 test.
He said the laboratory employs the state-of-the-art capillary electrophoresis device from Promega called the Spectrum Compact CE system in conducting its analysis.
“This Compact is the only installation in West Africa. The facility is also an automated four-capillary electrophoresis instrument designed for a wide range of DNA fragment analysis such as paternity testing and Sanger sequencing.
“The laboratory also employs the use of standard cheek cell samples and 27 STR loci markers in its sample analysis presenting a highly discriminatory test result comparable to any global standard.”