Researchers at the US Food and Drug Administration, the University of California, Davis, Agilent Technologies, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are teaming up to produce a public database of 100,000 food-borne pathogen genomes to help scientists quickly identify the bacteria responsible for food-related outbreaks, FDA announced. The agency says it will provide "more than 500 already completed Salmonella whole-genome draft sequences, thousands of additional important food pathogen strains for sequencing, and bioinformatic support."
Margaret Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, says in a statement that "this important project will harness the cutting-edge technology of genome sequencing to advance our understanding of and response to food-borne outbreaks."
Agilent's Mike McMullen adds that the group views "this project as a way to improve quality of life for a great many people, while minimizing a major business risk for food producers and distributors."
Daily Scan's sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this initiative.