AFMC opens DNA profiling centre

The Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) yesterday inaugurated its first DNA Profiling Centre, which will be useful in establishing the identities of soldiers killed in combat whose bodies become mutilated beyond recognition.

Annual affair: Lieutenant General H L Kakria  addresses the 50th
Armed Forces Medical Conference yesterday

Opened at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, the centre will soon start collecting DNA samples of officers and soldiers from the army, and then move on to profiling air force and navy personnel. Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services Lt Gen H L Kakria said the facility would go a long way in identifying soldiers severely disfigured in combat.

"The lab will also prove to be a huge repository of medical statistics of armed forces personnel, which will help formulate future military medical policies," he said. Kakria was talking on the sidelines of the 50th Armed Forces Medical Conference, an annual meet where medical, training and research needs of armed forces are deliberated upon.

After the sample collection is complete, the AFMC will move on to genomic profiling and studying various diseases particular to military personnel. The Medical Research Committee of the AFMC will also examine 167 different research proposals by medical cadets and teaching faculties.

The AFMC is already seeing a steady increase in the number of research proposals, with 125 proposals submitted in 2009, 134 in 2010 and 177 in 2011. The premier defence medical institute is also celebrating its golden jubilee, for which several events have been planned till August.

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