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Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation to Protect Archived DNA Using Biomatrica's Room Temperature Storage
Date:7/8/2009

SAN DIEGO, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Biomatrica today announced that the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) will use Biomatrica's SampleMatrix room temperature storage technology to archive its DNA samples.

SMGF will use the SampleMatrix technology in place of ultra-low-temperature freezers for the long-term storage of all newly collected samples. In addition, SMGF will move its collection of previously archived samples from freezers to room temperature storage.

"SMGF has an extremely valuable collection of DNAs, and we have been very concerned about the long-term storage and preservation of the collection," said Scott Woodward, executive director of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. "Biomatrica has developed a product that we feel addresses our concerns in a very practical, economical and secure way."

SMGF is using pedigree information and DNA samples to develop a genetic family tree. To date, the foundation has collected more than 100,000 samples along with corresponding genealogy charts containing at least four generations from volunteers in more than 170 countries around the world. SMGF currently stores all of its archived DNA samples in quadruplicate: one sample at 4 degrees C, one sample at minus 20 degrees C and two samples at minus 80 degrees C. SMGF plans to eliminate minus 80 degree frozen storage entirely and replace it with room temperature storage using SampleMatrix technology.

"I am all too familiar with losing precious biological materials since my wife has lost an enormous number of samples in defective freezers, and I have seen decreased sample quality through repeated freeze/thaw cycles, even when stored at minus 80 degrees," said Rolf Muller, Ph.D., president and CSO of Biomatrica. "Companies with biobanks, such as SMGF, as well as research institutions and biotechnology companies, can help safeguard their biological assets against loss in emergency situations by transitioning to room temperature storage using Biomatrica's SampleMatrix technology."

SampleMatrix is based on extremophile biology in which organisms are able to survive long-term in a state of anhydrobiosis (life without water) and later be revived by rehydration. Extremophiles such as tardigrades, also known as water bears, and brine shrimp are able protect their DNA, RNA, proteins, membranes and cellular systems in a dried state for extended periods of time. Biomatrica's technology mimics the natural molecular mechanisms used by these organisms. The technology works by forming a thermo-stable barrier during the drying process to protect samples from degradation during storage at room temperature.

About Biomatrica(R), Inc.

Biomatrica (www.biomatrica.com) is a biostability company that provides innovative technologies for stabilizing, processing, storing and shipping biological samples at room temperature. The core technology is designed for use in preserving complex biological samples and assays. The technology is based on the principles of anhydrobiosis ("life without water"), a natural mechanism that allows multicellular organisms to survive extreme environments. Biomatrica's current products stabilize DNA, RNA, and PCR reactions with no sample degradation, thus labs can reduce their reliance on freezers and drastically reduce shipping costs. Biomatrica products are used in laboratories performing life science research, from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to academic research and forensics laboratories. Custom services to stabilize additional sample types such as proteins are also available. Biomatrica also offers SampleWare(R) software, an easy-to-use, customizable laboratory management database that provides scientists with the means to store and organize their sample data, and directly supports samples stabilized by Biomatrica technology. For more information about the SampleMatrix technology and the Biomatrica products utilizing this technology platform (DNAstable(R) for DNA, RNAstable(R) for RNA and CloneStable(R) for bacterial DNA, and PCRboost(R) for stable PCR), visit: www.biomatrica.com.

About Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF; www.smgf.org) is a non-profit research organization that has created the world's largest repository of correlated genetic and genealogical information. The SMGF database currently contains information about more than seven million ancestors through linked DNA samples and pedigree charts from more than 170 countries, or approximately 90 percent of the nations of the world. The foundation's purpose is to foster a greater sense of identity, connection and belonging among all people by showing how closely we are connected as members of a single human family. For more information about the foundation's free, publicly available database, visit www.smgf.org.

    Contact:  Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D., or Martina Schwarzkopf, Ph.D.
              Russo Partners
              (619) 528-2217
              (212) 845-4292
              heidi.chokeir@russopartnersllc.com
              martina.schwarzkopf@russopartnersllc.com


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SOURCE Biomatrica, Inc.
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