High-tech DNA analysis technology aids the cheetah

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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.”

Supporting Resources

— 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.

For more information, please visit: www.appliedbiosystems.com and www.invitrogen.com.

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.

Life Technologies’ Safe Harbor Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements about our anticipated results that involve risks and uncertainties. Some of the information contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, statements as to industry trends and Life Technologies’ plans, objectives, expectations and strategy for its business, contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. When used, the words “believe,” “plan,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “target,” “estimate,” “expect” and the like, and/or future tense or conditional constructions (“will,” “may,” “could,” “should,” etc.), or similar expressions, identify certain of these forward-looking statements. Important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are detailed in filings made by Life Technologies with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Life Technologies undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

SOURCE: Life Technologies Corporation

Life Technologies Lauren Lum, 650-638-6916 (Media) lauren.lum@lifetech.com
Amanda Clardy, 760-603-7200 (Investors) amanda.clardy@lifetech.com


Cheetah Conservation Fund Dr. Laurie Marker, (067) 306225 cheetah@iway.na

Michael Helms, 650-571-9187 Mobile: 650-520-3728 mhelms@sbcglobal.net


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