Firepower in the Lab: Automation in the Fight Against Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism

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N. Patel, C. Kumar, Tony J. Beugelsdijk, Scott P. Layne
Joseph Henry Press, May 31, 2001 - Science - 313 pages

Today's world poses a triple threat to the American population: infectious diseases, contamination of food and water, and bioattacks (biowarfare or bioterrorism). At least 17 countries are producing weapons of mass destruction using viruses, bacteria, or their toxins. AIDS, E. coli contamination, drug-resistant tuberculosis, and virulent flu strains are perhaps the best known of a host of disease threats. What these dangers have in common is the amount of data required to achieve solutions; in some cases, as much as a petabit (1 followed by 15 zeros) of data is required to study large numbers of samples from widespread locations.

Firepower in the Lab examines how the nation can combat this triple threat by improving our ability to detect, measure, and monitor harmful biological agents. It explores the potential of today's exciting new laboratory automation and computer technologies as well as the emerging tools of molecular biology--how we can generate and analyze more data quickly and reduce human hands-on involvement, which inevitably introduces errors.

The book discusses how to improve and apply technologies such as robotics, laboratory automation, "lab-on-a-chip," bioinformatics, and Internet control innovations. It reviews lessons learned from our experience with pandemic flu viruses. It also presents strategies for developing new high-throughput technologies, including how to address the lack of public funding for critical research undertakings.

 

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Contents

A Case for IntermediateScale Grants
1
2 Tackling Grand Challenges with Powerful Technologies
5
PART I INFECTIOUS DISEASES
29
3 The Application of Mathematical Models in Infectious Disease Research
31
4 Expanding the Worldwide Influenza Surveillance System and Improving the Selection of Strains for Vaccines
47
Common Themes
55
6 Laboratory Firepower for AIDS Research
61
Experience of the National Center for Biotechnology Information
85
PART III BIOTERRORISM AND BIOWARFARE
175
Past Present and Future
177
16 National Innovation to Combat Catastrophic Terrorism
187
17 Flow Cytometry Analysis Techniques for HighThroughput Biodefense Research
193
18 Forensic Perspective on Bioterrorism and the Proliferation of Bioweapons
203
19 Biological Warfare Scenarios
215
PART IV FURTHER APPLICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES
225
20 Integration of New Technologies in the Future of the Biological Sciences
227

8 Applications of Modern Technology to Emerging Viral Infections and Vaccine Development
93
9 Next Steps in the Global Surveillance for AntiTuberculosis Drug Resistance
101
10 Antibiotic Discovery by MicroarrayBased Gene Response Profiling
113
11 Sequencing Influenza A from the 1918 Pandemic Investigating Its Virulence and Averting Future Outbreaks
123
PART II FOOD SUPPLY
131
An Organizational Perspective
133
Current Methods and Needs Assessment from Surveillance Outbreak Response and Bioterrorism Preparedness Perspectives1
143
Data Needs for Risk Assessment
165
21 New Standards and Approaches for Integrating Instruments into Laboratory Automation Systems
243
22 HighThroughput Sequencing Information Generation and the Future of Biology
261
23 Summary and Next Steps
267
APPENDIXES
269
APPENDIX A CONTRIBUTORS
271
APPENDIX B AUTOMATION IN THREAT REDUCTION AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH NEEDS AND NEW DIRECTIONS Agenda o...
277
INDEX
283
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