Scientists working with raw genetic material and the creation of DNA sequences must take precautions to ensure they don’t accidentally produce potential biohazards, such as toxins or pathogens that could lead to contagious diseases and death among plant and animal hosts. Not only could this type of incident lead to significant financial losses, as host organisms are killed—it can also pose a danger to those working with these materials in the lab.
Fortunately, many gene sequences that produce harmful qualities are known to the scientific community, and new sequences can be checked against these known concerning sequences before they are produced.
Battelle has sought to improve and simplify this screening with a system they developed called ThreatSEQ, which was one of the winners of the 2018 R&D 100 Awards.
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