Just as each of us has a distinct genetic makeup, each type of bacteria also has its own unique genome that science has been able to sequence. What’s more, every strain of bacteria has its own unique genome.
Science has discovered that by tracking the different genome sequences, we can determine when mutations that could lead to rapidly spreading illnesses are happening. Pair this data with traditional epidemiology data and you have a sophisticated way of understanding, tracking, and preventing outbreaks.
The FDA’s GenomeTrakr is a network of labs utilizing genome sequencing to identify pathogens. Its global genome sequence database of food and environmental pathogens is open-source and publicly available. The information stored by GenomeTrakr is starting to be used both in hospitals to anticipate regional resistance trends and by food manufacturers to prevent foodborne illness such as salmonella.
GenomeTrakr has tremendous potential to prevent the spread of illness and disease on a massive scale. Which is why I nominate GenomeTrakr for The Best Platform or Service.
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