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Battling Bacteria With Software

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A drug-resistant bacteria known as Carbapenem resistant enterobacteriaceae.

New software will help track a potentially dangerous bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control

Researchers at Sandia National Labs have developed software to help track a potentially dangerous bug called Klebsiella pneumoniae, which has become resistant to some of the most potent antibiotics.

The research team sequenced the DNA of the Klebsiella pneumoniae and has begun cataloging its genome into databases.

The software will help researchers find weaknesses in the bacteria.

The laboratory used two different data sets, MiSeq and PacBio, to assemble the organism's complex genome. The researchers say their novel bioinformatics software will help others crunch the complex and vast amount of biological identifiers carried by the microbe, including DNA and proteins.

The effort to combat the threat of the bacteria is part of a project created several years ago called the Rapid Threat Organism Recognition (RapTOR) Grand Challenge. RapTOR's purpose is to develop a new strategy to help medical researchers identify unknown microbes, guide public health response, and develop diagnostic treatments.

The Sandia team worked with Klebsiella pneumoniae to test an automatic DNA sequencing preparation platform for RapTOR.

From Federal Computer Week
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