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DNA Helps Reunite Children With Their Families
Date:8/4/2009

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked across international borders each year, 50 percent are under 17. It is estimated that by 2010, human trafficking will be the No. 1 crime worldwide.

Arthur Eisenberg, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the department of forensic and investigative Genetics and co-director of the UNT Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center, is on a mission to stop this horrific industry through a $500,000 grant from The Life Technologies Foundation to develop the DNA-PROKIDS Project (Program for Kids Identification with DNA Systems ). PROKIDS is an international humanitarian effort using DNA testing to deter human trafficking of children and help reunite abducted and homeless children with their parents.

Through the DNA-PROKIDS program, DNA samples will be obtained from children associated with human trafficking whether through prostitution, forced labor, militant activities, or illegal adoptions, or homeless children found living on the street. Their DNA profiles will be stored in an international database were they can be searched against the DNA profiles provided by families who have had their children kidnapped or lost.

Eisenberg is collaborating with Jose Lorente, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of legal and forensic medicine at the University of Granada-Spain, to help establish a worldwide DNA database to help reunite children with their parents and ultimately deter the trafficking of children. Lorente was inspired to establish DNA-PROKIDS to help return children to their parent
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SOURCE University of North Texas Health Science Center
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