Advanced DNA screening service for gene synthesis biosecurity helps detect and characterize biological threats
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov. 20, 2018)—A Battelle-developed technology that builds on more than a decade of biodefense expertise and genomic data collection and analysis has been named a recipient of a 2018 R&D 100 Award and further enhances Battelle’s position at the forefront of innovation for biosecurity.
The ThreatSEQ web service is a web-deployed DNA screening platform for the detection and characterization of sequences of concern in genomic data. The ThreatSEQ web service is a first in kind commercial DNA screening solution that is highly accurate and cost effective. The service includes an advanced biocuration pipeline that reduces synthesis providers’ burden to maintain effective biosecurity. The platform does this by streamlining the review process through an industry-oriented user interface to review screening results, which displays high-quality metadata and a graphical representation of genomic context.
Due to the dual-use nature of emerging biotechnology, biosecurity is a necessary component of the industry, particularly for the gene synthesis sector which produces DNA sequences to order. The Battelle team, led by Dr. Omar P. Tabbaa, Director of Computational Biotechnology, connected the challenges associated with enabling the responsible development of biotechnology and Battelle's unique position to provide an economically and technically sound solution.
"This award would not have been possible without the collaborative support of international industry and government stakeholders. We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts towards providing sustainable biosecurity solutions," Tabbaa said.
“We’re delighted that this important technology has been recognized by the R&D community,” said Dr. Michael Kuhlman, Battelle’s Chief Scientist. “Our ThreatSEQ service provides faster, more accurate decision-making for gene synthesis firms to protect themselves, their clients, and society from potential biological threats.”
The 56th annual R&D 100 Awards program honors the 100 most innovative technologies of the year. Winners were announced at a ceremony Nov.16 in Orlando, Florida.
In addition to the Battelle award, Department of Energy laboratories where Battelle has a management role won 12 awards, bringing the total number of awards won by the enterprise to 393.
“It’s always an honor to be among this group of award-winning technologies that have far-reaching impact, and the potential to change our world for the better,” said Battelle President and CEO Lou Von Thaer. “That’s part of Battelle’s mission and it’s in our DNA. I am incredibly proud of this team and their achievements.”
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.
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