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Agribusiness

GenetixMetazoa by Dr. Leyah Mwense Elago

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The word Genetix (genetics) is a branch of biology that deals with heredity and variation of organisms. Whereas, Metazoa encompasses all animals with differentiated tissues, including nerves and muscles (it also sounded like a cool combination of words hence the project name, GenetixMetazoa.

GenetixMetazoaTM provides reliable DNA matching services (DNA Analysis) at a fast turnaround time to create evidence for livestock theft complaints, genetic registrations for stud animals as well as animal identity validations for insurance companies.  The vision is to become the primary biotechnology laboratory dealing with private livestock forensic services and diagnostics spheres.

The goal is for GenetixMetazoaTM to effectively serve the livestock industry in Namibia via animal identity validation, to establish a leading biotechnology laboratory locally that has the ability to handle scientific molecular research and diagnosis of common diseases.

What services do you offer?

Provides undisputable identification of animal’s where ear tags, brand marks, tattoos and/or any other form of identification is deficient. Our identification makes the use of Deoxyribonucleic acid  (DNA) which is uniquely present in all body parts of the animal. This essentially means the animal traces itself and can be identified when found even without ear tags, brand marks, tattoos or other tracking devices.  This identification technology is admissible and has been applied in the court of law to resolve livestock theft disputes, game poaching cases and livestock insurance claim validations.

In order to curb livestock insurance fraud, we profile all covered animals on request by insurance companies. The process of profiling is done on the farm at the time of risk analysis using our quick and simple method of collecting and preserving the genetic identity of all individual animals. These genetic materials are kept in our gene bank and remain viable for 17.5 years which is essentially the lifespan of most domestic animals. When a claim is launched, insurance companies conduct their investigations processing and such investigations are deficient of evidence of true animal identity. i.e in cases where only meat or blood of the diseased animal was found we are requested to take samples from the remains and match those against the profiles in our gene bank.

What was the most exciting case you’ve dealt with?

I’ve had a case whereby the farm worker was stealing the kids every time a goat gave birth and was weaned.  The farmer then suspected foul play and he wanted to ensure that the kids were not from his goats.  After the necessary testing, it was established that there was a linkage determined from the genetic makeup.

We also dealt with an interesting case that linked meat material in a cold room of a butchery to the farmer’s farm who reported his cow stolen and decided to use our services based on his suspicions.

What challenges have you experienced?

Having to wheel in insurance companies and/other cooperate clients to sign up for our services. However, the biggest challenge has been the fact that there is no animal genetics laboratory in Namibia leading to substantial cost of referral to animal laboratory such as in South Africa.

Advice to anyone that wants to get into the same business?

Educate yourself on Namibian laws and policies concerning forensic cases.  Have knowledge on the chain of custody.

What is your philosophy in business?

Reliable DNA services with an intact chain of custody. Being ethical in practice.  Upholding confidentiality in the workplace.

What is your 5 year goal plan?

To open up an animal genetics laboratory in Namibia.

Dr Leya Mwense Elago is a mother to a beautiful girl called Lovisa Elago. She obtained her Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine (BVM) from the University of Zambia, in 2015 and a Research Based Masters in Veterinary Medicine from Chonbuk National University, 2018 where she was able to publish her first journal titled “Vaccination of goats with a combination Salmonella vector expressing four Brucella antigens (BLS, PrpA, Omp19, and SOD) confers protection against Brucella abortus infection” with the Journal of Veterinary Science.  She is working full time at GenetixMetazoa which became active in 2018. She can be contacted on:

Cell: +264 81 157 5688/+264 81 6846401

Email: dsnamibian@gmail.com / lmwense@yahoo.com

Facebook Page: GenetixMetazoa

Facebook Page: Dindoli Scientific Namibia

 

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