Skip to main content

DARPA to Seek New Technologies, Including Sequencing Approaches, to Predict Viral Pathogen Emergence


This story was originally published June 10.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to seek new solutions, including new sequencing approaches, to predict emerging viral pathogens under its Predicting Pathogen Evolution program, known as Prophecy.

Under a Broad Agency Announcement that is soon to be released, Prophecy will look for "integrated multi-disciplinary solutions to predicting viral pathogens before emergence in natural ecologies."

Among other technologies, the program will look for "novel approaches to sequencing of viral genomes to monitor and distinguish between rare events, mutations, and sequencing errors."

Because the program will require collaborations, DARPA will be holding "teaming meetings" to introduce potential applicants to the program and to allow collaborations to form. One meeting will be held June 24 in Boston, and another June 30 in Seattle, with registration deadlines on June 14 and 18. More information is available here.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.