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Israel this week proposed to create an international genetic database to identify victims of last month's tsunami. The proposal was accepted by all nations involved.

Many victims cannot be identified without using DNA 'fingerprinting' to match their genetic material with that of their families. Israeli forensic scientists are experts in this technique because of the country's experience with suicide bombers.

According to the Israeli proposal, forensic scientists would attempt to match samples taken from victims' bodies with those supplied by concerned family members. Samples will be analysed in China, which has large enough facilities to handle the volume of samples and has offered to do the work for free.

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