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      Foreign investors sought for local DNA lab

      Some local business and economic development leaders are trying to drum up business overseas.

      Blaine Kern, the president of Human Identification Technologies, which is bringing a new DNA laboratory to Kirksville, recently returned from an eight-day trip to South Korea, China and Hong Kong.

      Kern was joined by representatives from Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Incorporated, as well as A.T. Still University and Truman State University.

      "What we were looking at particularly is to be able to set up a program whereby we can take scientists from these countries, bring them into the United States, in particular to Truman State University and A.T. Still University, and provide some kind of a Western education and training in this forensic science, specifically in DNA testing, and then kind of put those people back into the marketplace there so they can run the laboratories there," said Kern.

      Kern said he would like to eventually expand his business into Asia.

      While on the trip, the Kirksville group also tried to find foreign investors interested in investing locally.

      "We're looking for investment, among other things, for HIT (Human Identification Technology) here in Kirksville, and those people that we were meeting with certainly had that capacity to do that," said Pete Detweiler, secretary for Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Incorporated and chairman of the A.T. Still University Board of Trustees.