FAQs
 
  Who would benefit from Bioprofiles' service?

Our service will speed up claim processes and court cases and thus limit litigation costs for the insurance industry. For homeowners it means that an un-saleable house may become marketable again.  Our direct clients are, for example, arboricultural consultants working for a loss adjuster or an insurance company. However, lawyers, councils, and private house and tree owners also benefit from a fast solution.

  Why use DNA identification rather than traditional (non-DNA) techniques?

Using traditional techniques (looking at the root structure using a light microscope) it is not possible to discriminate roots of trees of the same species, therefore, a large proportion of the subsidence cases cannot be solved with traditional means.  However, Bioprofiles' DNA technique enables root identification even when several individuals of the same species are involved. Also roots of very similar species e.g. a willow and a poplar, or two maple species can be identified.

These novel methods are based on DNA techniques, with which small amounts of tissue can be analysed. The DNA techniques are all based on a patented invention from the year 1983, namely, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).  All PCR tests need to be performed pursuant to licensing arrangements with Applied Biosystems under patent rights owned by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.  PCR is an extremely sensitive method in which small parts of DNA of an organism are biochemically replicated (amplified). Because of its sensitivity very small amounts of DNA, or even partially degraded DNA can often be analysed and made visible. This enables us to analyse small amounts of DNA in woody parts of plants with a proven technology.

  Are there limits to the DNA fingerprinting service?

If there are trees that are clones of each other (for example in the case of willows) then we cannot narrow it down to one possible tree since two (or more) trees are identical (like identical twins). If a tree is a graft on a root stock, then of course the DNA fingerprint of the root is not identical to the fingerprint of the tree, and DNA analysis is not going to help the customer.

Sampling of material is the responsibility of the client and we recommend to supply us with multiple samples, for example from more than one trial pit

  What is the likely cost?

The costs depend a lot on the number of samples and the question asked, also depending on the number of root and tree samples.

Price indication:        

Opening a case                        400

Per sample add                        100

 

  What is the likely turnaround time?

Depending on the actual question and quality of the samples we aim to do the work in 14 days, although in some cases 4 working days would be enough. In exceptional cases we need more time, but we would let the customer know.

  Are the conclusions reliable?

We will only state in our report what we consider reliable. We have extensive experience in analysing plant DNA through our university research and have published many research papers in reputable scientific journals using these DNA techniques. If the material does not allow us to draw firm conclusions, then we will say so. If we cannot answer the question because clearly the wrong material is delivered or if trees appear to be identical (clones) charges still apply.

 

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    Bioprofiles Ltd. 2015