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DTRA Offers $1M Prize for Software to ID Non-Host Organisms via Sequence Data

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The US Government’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency is offering a $1 million award for programs that can analyze samples containing mixed segments of genetic sequences generated by next-generation sequencing instruments.

According to DTRA, these algorithms should be able to suss out the identities of each organism represented in the sample and characterize all non-host organisms.

The challenge will provide datasets from Roche 454, Illumina, Pacific Biosystems PacBio RS, and Life Technologies Ion Torrent PGM sequencers.

Submissions must include a detailed description of the proposed algorithm and how it addresses technical requirements provided in the challenge description. They should also include source code implementing the proposed algorithm as well as all dependencies, packages, databases, documentation, and information used to generate test results.

The winning entry solution must outscore the benchmark solution set by DTRA in order to receive an award.

Deadline for entry into the contest is May 31, 2013, and the winner will be announced in September Additional details are available here.

The challenge is being run by InnoCentive, a Boston, Mass. — based company that puts on challenges aimed at solving research and development problems in domains such as engineering, computer science, life science, and business among other.

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