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Pentagon Awards $1M Prize to Int’l Team for Biothreat Detection Algorithm

PentagonThe Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency has awarded a $1 million prize to an international team of scientists for developing a method to detect pathogens based on DNA sequencing data.

The InnoCentive-hosted “DTRA Algorithm Challenge” sought a solution that could help DTRA identify pathogenic targets and save the lives of military personnel from biothreats, InnoCentive said Tuesday.

Researchers Daniel Huson, Benjamin Buchfink and Xie Chao’s winning technique aims to expedite the biothreat detection process, InnoCentive said.

Members of the winning team are from Germany and Singapore, according to the release.

“This successful challenge-prize experience shows what can happen when government and private industry work together to make our nation safer and more secure,” said Craig Jones, InnoCentive executive chairman and chairman of the board.

DTRA intends to release a technical paper on the program and assemble a team to refine the algorithmic approach.

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