Latest Research

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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
Stylized DNA helix with text "Signature Science's Krista Ternus Co-Authors Paper Published in PLOS"

Synthetic DNA and Biosecurity: Nuances of Predicting Pathogenicity and the Impetus for Novel Computational Approaches...

Dr. Krista Ternus worked with colleagues from Rice University and Texas A&M Health Science Center to author "Synthetic DNA and biosecurity: Nuances of predicting pathogenicity and the impetus for novel computational approaches for screening oligonucleotides." Overview: DNA synthesis technologies are enabling rapid advancements in the field of synthetic biology, which... MORE
Flowchart of pathogen contamination and mitigation

Signature Science Team Authors Paper Published in “BMC Infectious Diseases”

Title: Simulating Transmission of ESKAPE Pathogens Plus C. difficile in Relevant Clinical Scenarios ABSTRACT BackgroundThe prevalence of healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) and rising levels of antimicrobial resistance places significant economic and public health burdens on modern healthcare systems. A group of highly drug resistant pathogens known as the ESKAPE pathogens, along with C. difficile, are... MORE
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Next Generation Sequencing to Detect Environmental Stress

Dr. Krista Ternus presented her research at the National Environmental Monitoring Conference held August 5-9, 2019. The presentation slides are available here. Abstract: Next generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to detect changes within microbial communities in response to specific types of stress. However, the majority of species within complex... MORE