SigSci Solutions

Bioinformatics & Genome Sequencing

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MetScale™ Expedites and Unifies Complex Metagenomic Analyses

A bioinformatician’s typical metagenomic data processing roadmap may include goals of producing high-quality Illumina sequence reads with adapters removed, reads assembled into longer contigs, taxonomic content identified within each sample, analysis of functional elements, and interpretation and comparison of results. They will spend a lot of time individually researching, installing, and running the many metagenomics analysis. MORE

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SigSci Bioinformatics Workflows Identify Sequences of Concern and Root Out Potential Biothreats

Uncovering the taxonomic origin and functional profile of gene sequences is of high interest to biosecurity professionals and fundamental researchers, but it is a challenging and nuanced task to navigate. SeqScreen™, an open source bioinformatics workflow, leverages multiple open source tools to predict the most probable source organism, the diversity of possible taxonomic lineages, functional gene annotations, and customized. MORE

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Modeling the Transmission of Highly Drug-Resistant Pathogens in Healthcare

The 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 the leading causes of HAIs. Interactions between patients, healthcare workers, and environmental conditions impact disease transmission. MORE

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FOCUS: Signature Science Funded Modeling Project to Forecast COVID-19 in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for timely, data-driven projections of infectious disease activity. Near-term forecasts can provide useful information to public health decision makers. In April 2020, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst partnered with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to launch the COVID-19 Forecast Hub. The consortium marshals infectious disease modelers. MORE

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

There are multiple approaches to estimating relatedness between samples, including genome-wide measures and methods that rely on identity by descent (IBD) segment detection. Analyzing results from genome-wide SNP-based kinship analysis or comparing analyses to simulated data for benchmarking have to this point required writing one-off analysis functions… MORE

CBRNE Detection Systems

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Focus on Third Party Testing to Support TSA Acquisitions

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an interest in streamlining their acquisition process for new detection technologies. Manufacturers of detection technologies desire to get their products to market as fast as possible while also ensuring that equipment meets the TSA’s detection requirements. External testing (i.e. testing performed by third party providers rather than government-sponsored testing) is a viable pathway to … MORE

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When the Air Force Needed Safe Training Aids for their Explosive-Detecting K-9s, TrueScent® Delivered

Canines have served a vital and heroic role in the U.S. armed forces for more than 75 years. As part of their ‘deter and detect’ mission, canines are trained for explosives detection, which places them and their handlers in harm’s way as they conduct patrols. In 2010, the U.S. Air Force Military Working Dog Program sought canine training aids for emerging homemade explosive (HME) threats. TATP and HMTD, extremely dangerous and unstable HMEs … MORE

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SpADe (Spore Amplified Detection) Leverages Synthetic Biology to Monitor Underground CBRNE Threats

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BioReporters for Subterranean Surveillance program funded the development of novel biological systems to monitor for underground CBRNE threats. These systems had to be delivered to depth over potentially large areas, be suitably persistent in soil and sensitive to chemical or biological threat agents, be able to generate sufficient signal to enable … MORE

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CHEMERA® Meets the Challenge of Detecting Next Generation Chemical Threats — Solid, Liquid, and Vapor

Chemical defense professionals can achieve laboratory-grade field identification with unmatched sensitivity, selectivity and speed with CHEMERA®. Analyzes solid, liquid, or vapor samples. Returns clear “detect/no detect” in just 60 seconds. No need for carrier gasses or columns. Single format sample media. Operable in full PPE or MOPP gear. Ruggedized to perform in the field … MORE

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SigSci’s Patented Low SWaP Sampling Technologies Enable Previously “Out of Reach” Collection Scenarios

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) sponsored the Molecular Analyzer for Efficient Gas-Phase Low-Power Interrogation (MAEGLIN) Program which, in part, funded the development of novel low-SWaP, high-endurance sampling systems. Signature Science’s engineering team, as a performer on the program, developed and delivered a universal pre-concentrator capable of providing >1,000-fold enrichment boluses. There are multiple approaches to estimating relatedness between samples, including genome-wide measures and methods that rely on identity by descent (IBD) segment detection. Analyzing results from genome-wide SNP-based kinship analysis or comparing analyses to simulated data for benchmarking have to this point required writing one-off analysis functions… MORE

Forensic DNA

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The Experts at the Center for Advanced Genomics® are on a Mission to Solve the Toughest Forensic Challenges

Signature Science supports our law enforcement clients by providing cost-effective, scalable casework solutions for both traditional and specialized sample analysis. Dedicated to our mission to solve every case, the experts of our Center for Advanced Genomics® engage in high-level genomic research, development, and testing and evaluation to address the scientific and technical forensic challenges facing our criminal justice … MORE

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Do You Think DNA Can’t Be Recovered From Spent Shell Casings? With FRISC, It’s Time to Think Again.

For years, investigators have relied on spent shell casings to identify the type of gun used in a crime, but they have believed that those same casings were unlikely to yield DNA that could be used to identify the shooter. It’s time for some new thinking about spent shell casings and DNA.The research team at SigSci’s Center for Advanced Genomics®, in collaboration with our accredited DNA casework laboratory, has developed and validated the FRISC™ method … MORE

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DNA Dead End? – Protein Sequencing for Forensic Analysis Can Provide Options

A crime scene. A suspect. A brass shell casing to tie them together. The trace amount of DNA collected is too degraded for DNA profile generation. With that, the suspect walks away, free to strike again. Reaching a dead end like this one in the forensic laboratory is not uncommon and frustrates even the most seasoned analysts and law enforcement officials. In recent years, however, the use of next generation sequencing and genetic genealogy … MORE

Laboratory Quality Assurance

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SigSci Quality Assurance Team Supports NGB WMD-CST Readiness for CBRNE Response

The National Guard Bureau (NGB’s) Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams (WMD-CSTs) are 57 specialized, active duty, full-time Guard units operating under federally approved CBRNE response doctrine and are individually certified by the Secretary of Defense. Each WMD-CST fields a fully equipped mobile analytical laboratory system (ALS) in addition to sophisticated satellite communications systems; command … MORE