Latest Research

SigSci Scientists Co-Author Study Published in “Frontiers in Genetics”

Abstract Technological advances in sequencing and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping microarray technology have facilitated advances in forensic analysis beyond short tandem repeat (STR) profiling, enabling the identification of unknown DNA samples and distant relationships. Forensic genetic genealogy (FGG) has facilitated the identification of distant relatives of both unidentified remains... MORE

Signature Science Co-Authors Study Published in “BMC: Genome Biology”

Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of accurate detection of known and emerging pathogens. However, robust characterization of pathogenic sequences remains an open challenge. To address this need we developed SeqScreen, which accurately characterizes short nucleotide sequences using taxonomic and functional labels and a customized set of curated... MORE
orange bursts

Minireview Published in ASM Infection and Immunity: Categorizing Sequences of Concern by Function To Better...

Abstract To identify sequences with a role in microbial pathogenesis, we assessed the adequacy of their annotation by existing controlled vocabularies and sequence databases. Our goal was to regularize descriptions of microbial pathogenesis for improved integration with bioinformatic applications. Here, we review the challenges of annotating sequences for pathogenic activity.... MORE
Close-up of skin with representation of protein

SigSci Scientists Co-author Study Published in “Journal of Proteomics”

Abstract We present an efficient protein extraction and in-solution enzymatic digestion protocol optimized for mass spectrometry-based proteomics studies of human skin samples. Human skin cells are a proteinaceous matrix that can enable forensic identification of individuals. We performed a systematic optimization of proteomic sample preparation for a protein-based human forensic identification... MORE

skater: An R package for SNP-Based Kinship Analysis, Testing, and Evaluation

Abstract: Motivation: SNP-based kinship analysis with genome-wide relationship estimation and IBD segment analysis methods produces results that often require further downstream processing and manipulation. A dedicated software package that consistently and intuitively implements this analysis functionality is needed. Results: Here we present the skater R package for SNP-based kinship analysis, testing, and... MORE
Photo of travelers in an airport and the text "TESSA: Trace Explosives Sampling for Security Applications

Trace Explosives Sampling for Security Applications (TESSA) Study

Abstract: The detection of trace amounts of explosive materials is critical to the security at mass transit centers (e.g., airports and railway stations). In a typical screening process, a trap is used to probe a surface of interest to collect and transfer particulate residue to a detector for analysis. The collection... MORE
Stylized globe with workflow and the text "FOCUS: Forecasting COVID-19 in the United States"

SigSci Develops R Package to Support Accurate U.S. COVID-19 Forecasting

Authors: VP Nagraj, Chris Hulme-Lowe, Stephanie L. Guertin, Stephen D. Turner Abstract: Infectious disease forecasting has been a useful tool for public health planning and messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the CDC, the organizers of the COVID-19 Forecast Hub have created a mechanism for forecasters from academia, industry, and... MORE
Models of protein and DNA with text "DNA + Protein from Individual Fingerprints"

Fractionation of DNA and Protein from Individual Latent Fingerprints for Forensic Analysis

Abstract: Human touch samples represent a significant portion of forensic DNA casework. Yet, the generally low abundance of genetic material combined with the predominantly extracellular nature of DNA in these samples makes DNA-based forensic analysis exceptionally challenging. Human proteins present in these same touch samples offer an abundant and environmentally-robust alternative.... MORE