Applied Biosystems DNA Analysis Technology Aids Cheetah Conservation Program
Tue. May 19, 2009; Posted: 07:30 AM
CARLSBAD, Calif., May 19, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — A new high-tech DNA laboratory is the latest tool in the international effort to save the endangered cheetah population. The Applied Biosystems Genetic Conservation Laboratory, located at the headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, is the result of a collaboration between CCF and Applied Biosystems, a division of Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE). Through this arrangement, Applied Biosystems is providing genetic analysis systems and reagents to enable CCF to initiate a genetic conservation program as part of its mission to help ensure the long-term survival of the cheetah. To address the challenge of effectively monitoring the wild cheetah population, five scientists have been trained on advanced genomic analysis technology and have developed a non-invasive, genetic monitoring program designed to provide accurate population estimates of cheetahs in Namibia and other home-range countries. This includes the development of a multiplexed panel of genetic markers to genotype and track cheetah populations. The laboratory is also being used to address research questions involving how cheetah genes transfer from one population to another, geographical patterns of genetic variation, and adaptive questions related to the animal’s behavior in specific habitats.
Cheetahs are one of the most specialized cat species, exhibiting minimal amounts of genetic diversity with approximately 99 percent of their genes being identical. In most mammalian species, 80 percent of the genes in related individuals are identical. This lack of variation results in genetic inbreeding, which negatively impacts genetic diversity, and compromises their ability to adjust to sudden environmental changes and makes them highly susceptible to certain viruses, as well as reproductive and health problems. Today, less than 10,000 wild cheetahs exist globally, classifying them as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Namibia is home to the largest number of free-ranging cheetahs, with 20 percent of the world’s wild population.
Dr. Laurie Marker, Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund
“With wildlife being such an important part of all Namibian’s lives, having the opportunity to train the future African scientists to understand and manage their wildlife is essential. Having the 310 Genetic Analyzer is a dream come true, as the CCF will be able to use the machine in the Applied Biosystems Genetic Conservation Laboratory to conduct first world science, in the middle of the African bush, to answer important conservation genetics questions on cheetahs and other wildlife.”
Kip Miller, President of Life Technologies’ Genetic Systems Division
“The cheetah conservation effort is a unique example of the power of genetic analysis technologies. Life Technologies is uniquely positioned to support this research with a broad portfolio of tools that provide an ideal platform for the development and use of a reliable set of genetic markers that serve as a basis for the cheetah conservation program as well as future efforts to protect endangered wildlife.”
— Cheetah Conservation Fund
— ABI PRISM(R) 310 Genetic Analyzer
About Applied Biosystems Products
Applied Biosystems is a global leader in providing innovative instrument systems to accelerate academic and clinical research, drug discovery and development, pathogen detection and forensic DNA analysis. Applied Biosystems, along with Invitrogen – a leading provider of platform independent, essential life science technologies for disease and drug research, bioproduction and diagnostics – is part of Life Technologies. Together, Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen provide the broadest portfolio of RNA analysis tools available from a single company. Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen products are used in nearly every major laboratory in the world.
About the Cheetah Conservation Fund
Founded in 1990, CCF is a Namibian Section 21 non-profit trust and a US 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems. CCF’s activities include conducting international research, conservation, and education programs. For more information, please visit www.cheetah.org.
About Life Technologies
Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) is a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific exploration, driving to discoveries and developments that make life even better. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance personalized medicine, regenerative science, molecular diagnostics, agricultural and environmental research, and 21st century forensics. Life Technologies had sales of more than $3 billion in 2008, employs approximately 9,500 people, has a presence in more than 100 countries, and possesses a rapidly growing intellectual property estate of approximately 3,600 patents and exclusive licenses. Life Technologies was created by the combination of Invitrogen Corporation and Applied Biosystems Inc. For more information on how we are making a difference please visit our website: www.lifetechnologies.com.
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SOURCE: Life Technologies Corporation
Cheetah Conservation Fund Dr. Laurie Marker, (067) 306225 email@example.com
Michael Helms, 650-571-9187 Mobile: 650-520-3728 firstname.lastname@example.org
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