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DOD Grant Helps 3rd Millennium Develop Bioinformatics System for Microarray Data

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 - The US Department of Defense has awarded 3rd Millennium a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to help it develop a bioinformatics system for microarray data management and analysis, 3rd Millennium said on Wednesday.

The DOD, whose award is worth $68,692, anticipates the research will improve its own work into understanding infectious diseases.


The project is designed to address two limitations of microarray informatics: the inability of current systems to integrate information about the context of lab work with the biological data generated during experiments, and the difficulty of tracking computational process for data analysis.


"It's a major complaint about all the systems that are out there," 3rd Millennium CEO Richard Dweck said in a statement. "Clients say: if only we had all this information together our work would go so much faster. The government has the same need."


With the contract, 3rd Millennium will start developing a system that can handle contextual information about lab experiments as well.


"This system will handle both types of data as well as being able to store the whole experimental context--all the information around the experiment along with the results and analysis," said Dweck. "It will allow people to ask much more interesting and important questions."


The bioinformatics system will cover "hundreds of pieces of information," like the identity of the experiments, the source of the samples, the process that generated the microarrays, chip lot numbers, said Dweck. "It will tie everything back together in one place. If [researchers] see a result, they can drill back to understand every single thing that was ever known about" the experiment.


After the initial phase of work on this project, 3rd Millennium will pursue a Phase II grant from the US Army, which would allow the system to be developed.

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