February, 2005

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Indian Ocean Tsunami: Chinese Scientific Rescue Team Arrived Earliest

On Dec 27,when news about Tsunami that took place in the Indian Ocean spread around the world, the research staff of the Institute of Genomics, CAS realized that the Chinese scientists should not hesitate to carry out its scientific duties and mission at the moment when the mankind is attacked by disasters. On Dec. 29, they proposed: Considering the large number of casualties in Southeast Asia, the Institute of Genomics is willing to help the victims and their families with DNA identification and set up a DNA database for the victims.

On the same night, the Chinese Scientific Rescue Team left Beijing and arrived at Bangkok at 12 p.m. On Dec. 30, they arrived in the disaster area and began to identify the ID samples. The Chinese team, as coordinator of the DNA Identification Group, began to work with nearly 200 professionals from about 30 countries and from the Judicial Department of Thailand and the International DVI disaster relieving group. Their daily work is to go to the serious disaster area Phang Nga in Thailand to give corpse of the Tsunami victims with legal medical pathological test, and take samples of DNA for ID identification. They took photos of the bodies, kept records of their physical features and collected decorations of the victims. The samples would be sent back to China for Identification and the victim DNA database would be set up.

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