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Defense Threat Reduction Agency and U.S. STRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction Award $1 Million Prize for New Techniques for Rapid Characterization of Pathogens

Defense Threat Reduction Agency and U.S. STRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction Award $1 Million Prize for New Techniques for Rapid Characterization of Pathogens

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Dec 06, 2013
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 Nearly 3,000 Solvers Participate in "The DTRA Algorithm Challenge" Hosted by InnoCentive;Solution Will Keep U.S. Soldiers and Department of Defense Personnel Around the Globe Safer WALTHAM, Mass., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- InnoCentive and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency/U.S. STRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (DTRA/SCC-WMD)announced the winner of the $1 million "DTRA Algorithm Challenge." The winners developed analgorithm which can most rapidly and accurately characterize a complex clinical sample based solelyon raw DNA sequence data. The Challenge was executed for DTRA by a team from the US ArmyEdgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC) and the Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyLincoln Laboratory.(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120711/NE38133LOGO )The ability to successfully treat U.S. personnel from bio threats around the world is impacted by thespeed and accuracy with which those threats can be identified. Previously, it could take up to a weekto analyze a sample of DNA, requiring the assistance of third party analysis. The winning solution – submitted by Team Huson (Daniel Huson, Benjamin Buchfink and Xie Chao) - reduces that time totens of minutes and can be conducted in the field. Once developed, this solution will help to rapidlyidentify and characterize unknown pathogens (either bacterial, viral or both), allow for informedmedical intervention, enable targeted antibiotics and provide better results."Making the $1 million award open to all participants, regardless of nationality, encouragedparticipation from a broader community than we might normally be able to reach for this type of project. Additionally, the prize's tiered structure also guaranteed that we would only present anaward after validating the best-in-field solution against a well-defined reference," said Dr. ChristianWhitchurch, Devices Branch Manager for DTRA's Diagnostics, Detection and Disease Surveillance
InnoCentive logo. (PRNewsFoto/InnoCentive)
Defense Threat Reduction Agency and U.S. STRATCOM Center for Comb...http://www.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?expire=&title=Defense+Thre...1 of 312/6/2013 12:53 PM
Division. "The number of Solvers working on this Challenge exceeded our expectations. TeamHuson's algorithm will lead to an enhancement in DTRA's current capability to diagnose and treatbio-threats in a shorter time-frame and support life-saving interventions.""The fact that three scientists from Germany and Singapore who were not known to the government,could access the InnoCentive platform and provide this breakthrough, once again proves the power of the InnoCentive approach," said Craig Jones, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board for InnoCentive. "This successful challenge-prize experience shows what can happen when governmentand private industry work together to make our nation safer and more secure."DTRA has assigned a technical team to refine the winning solution and will publish a technical paper discussing the creation, execution and results of the Challenge.For more information on the competition visit http://www.dtra.mil or http://www.innocentive.com/dtra.
 About DTRA
DTRA is a combat support agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, founded in 1998,headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Its mission is to safeguard the United States and her Alliesfrom Weapons of Mass Destruction (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) and High-YieldExplosives by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate and counter the threat, and mitigate itsconsequences. Visit us on the Web at http://www.dtra.mil.
 About InnoCentive
InnoCentive is the global leader in crowdsourcing innovation problems to the world's smartest peoplewho compete to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, scientific, andtechnical challenges. For more than a decade, leading commercial, government, and nonprofitorganizations have partnered with InnoCentive to rapidly generate innovative new ideas and solvepressing problems. For more information, visit www.innocentive.com.
Contact Information
Ronald LovasDefense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)(703) 767-5870 Amanda FountainSchwartz MSL on behalf of InnoCentiveinnocentive@schwartzmsl.com(781) 684-0770SOURCE InnoCentiveRELATED LINKShttp://www.innocentive.com 
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