Last year, two Denver scientists theorized that a clinical instrument used to spot cancer mutations could speed up the normally tedious DNA identification process. Then the attacks of Sept. 11 occurred, and their work suddenly took on a sense of urgency. When the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sent out a countrywide plea for information on new technologies that could assist in the investigation at Ground Zero, Phil Danielson, assistant professor of molecular biology at the University of Denver, and his laboratory assistant, Robby Shelton, immediately stepped up to the challenge.

"[Sept. 11] prompted us to cut to the chase on the research front and show that our approach really would work," says Danielson. "In the absence of that added pressure it probably would have taken one to two years to get to where we are now." In a pilot study using San Jose, Calif.-based Transgenomic's WAVE...

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