New York – Scientists at the medical examiner's office in New York acquired state-of-the-art technology that is allowing them to identify DNA in World Trade Center remains almost 10 years after the 9/11 terror attacks, the New York Post reported Saturday.
Working in a tightly-secured, hyper-sterilized lab, a team of five forensics experts works seven days a week to put a name to more than 6,000 pieces of remains. Another 180 specialists are on hand to help in the painstaking process.
“Some of these fragments are smaller than a Tic-Tac,” according to Mark Desire, who heads the office's World Trade Center identification unit. “A decade ago, there was no hope whatsoever of generating a viable sample.”
Now, after years of research and development and millions of dollars, robotic machines and high-tech extraction and analysis advances are helping to identify remains previously deemed a lost cause.
“There are no new samples here,” Desire added. “These are [remains] that were tested three, four and five times back then that didn’t yield anything.”
In recent days, the process yielded a new identification: New Yorker Ernest James, a 40-year-old insurance-firm worker.