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    On the Leading EDGE of Innovation

    On the Leading EDGE of Innovation

    Courtesy Photo | Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise (EDGE) offers a suite of analytical...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department

    Often innovation is accomplished in incremental steps, rather than leaps and bounds. However, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Chemical and Biological Technologies Department recently deployed their Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise (EDGE) Bioinformatics tool, which has the ability to rapidly revolutionize how genomics are used to safeguard warfighters.

    The field of genomics is an interdisciplinary field with broad applicability for chemical and biological defense. Ranging from diagnostics and forensics to outbreak investigation and biosurveillance, genomics can trace illnesses to their original source or help identify pathogens.

    Until recently, genome sequencing was time consuming and difficult. The first bacterial genome was sequenced in 1995 and took more than 13 months. Frequently genomic sequencing requires days or weeks to analyze millions of data points. Now, EDGE can do the same in minutes or hours.

    EDGE is a web-based platform that can operate stand alone and provides a suite of various analyses tools required for viral, bacterial, and metagenomic samples. Providing an intuitive interface and interactive outputs in many cases, EDGE can be used by those with little to no bioinformatics background. This enables warfighters to perform genomics analysis near the point of collection, greatly reducing both cost and response time.

    The EDGE bioinformatics processes raw sequencing data from various sequencing instruments and leverages several open-source and 3rd party applications to perform a myriad of analyses capable of displaying a holistic view of the data in as little as a few hours.

    R&D Magazine named DTRA’s EDGE Bioinformatics platform as a 2017 R&D 100 Award winner. The R&D 100 Awards are among the most prestigious innovation awards, honoring research and development pioneers. EDGE’s utility was also recognized by R&D Magazine, receiving a Special Recognition Award for Market Disruptor Products. Market disruptor awards are given to those that have the potential to be “game-changers,” disrupting established technologies and transforming industry. EDGE also received DTRA’s Technical Achievement of the Year award.

    EDGE has been used in more than 100 laboratories across 28 countries including the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Georgia and Peru. Merging innovation and speed, DTRA CB aims to deliver technological solutions to our nation’s warfighter, safeguarding the nation and its warfighters and our allies from chemical and biological threats.

    POC: Charles Hong; charles.m.hong.civ@mail.mil



    Date Taken: 04.26.2018
    Date Posted: 04.26.2018 11:43
    Story ID: 274616
    Location: FORT BELVOIR, VA, US 

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