Courtesy of GenVault

Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey preserves 3,000 DNA samples, each bathed in liquid nitrogen in ever-expanding banks of freezers.

"The samples are a national resource for research and a database of baseline information for studying new diseases or epidemics," explains Geraldine McQuillan, senior infectious disease epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, which runs the survey. "We'd never throw them away, but it's becoming burdensome."

So the CDC turned to Carlsbad, Calif.-based GenVault http://www.genvault.com for help. GenVault's new Dynamic Archive System provides a comprehensive approach to sample management. Biological samples are stored in dry form at room temperature. The system automates their retrieval and tracking, and even preps its own samples.

The system lines each well of a 384-well plate with a cone of Whatman FTA paper, a chemically treated material that absorbs and stores...

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