Air-seq: A method for early detection of any biological threats

Lead Research Organisation: Earlham Institute
Department Name: Research Faculty

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We discovered commercial interest in Air-seq, with market research highlighting several possible areas and the approximate price points for each of the areas.
Based on this we have a clear progression for the technology from least price sensitive e.g. military/bioterrorism to the most e.g. agricultural surveillance.
As the technology matures and the price decreases, we expect it to become more widespread among the most price sensitive areas.
Exploitation Route The results suggest a clear pathway to commercialization, but that large sections of the market are very price sensitive and can not be accessed unless or until the costs decrease. Much of the costs are for reagents from Oxford Nanopore Technologies patented devices and methods or a competitor e.g. semiconductor sequencing from Genia/Roche. We are limited by their progress in decreasing price. Currently ONT is moving to larger devices (GridION and PromethION) with lower costs per base of sequence, these are not suitable for our in field application - but the end of 2018 they plan to market a smaller, cheaper version of the MinION called the SmidgION which can be operated from a smartphone.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment

 
Description We are currently working with Kromek PLC (based in Sedgefield, Co Durham, UK) to develop a new air sequencing platform for US homeland security. This work is funded by DARPA, and puts us in close contact with multiple USA agencies were we are able to influence policy as well as DSTL and Home Office in the UK.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Environment,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description DNA sequencing for biological threat monitoring
Amount $5,270,000 (USD)
Funding ID HR001119C0031 
Organisation Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 12/2018 
End 12/2023
 
Description DNA sequencing for biological threat monitoring
Amount $5,270,000 (USD)
Funding ID HR001119C0031 
Organisation Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 12/2018 
End 12/2023
 
Title Air-seq IP 
Description Methods for DNA extraction, sequencing and analysis of aerosol samples. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Yes
Impact As part of the DARPA funding (see funding), we are licensing our Air-seq technology to Kromek to build devices for biological threat monitoring.
 
Description Metagenomics teaching at EBI 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited presentation at EBI Metagenomics workshop.
Talk focussed on technology, and especially on MinION and Air-seq.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.ebi.ac.uk/training/events/2016/metagenomics-bioinformatics-1
 
Description Presentation "DNA Sequencing for Biological Threat Monitoring" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation at DARPA headquarters in Arlington Virginia, USA, at the "SIGMA+ Sensor Kickoff Meeting" I had an audience of ~100 US, UK and Israeli stakeholders from government agencies (including military and homeland security) and companies that develop and supply technology to US military. This talk raised a lot of interest and questions about the capabilities of the new (potentially disruptive) technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Sensing crop diseases in the field, Stalham farmers club (Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation to members of the Stalham Farmers Club (the oldest in the UK) composing farmers, agronomists, general public and some local media.

Spoke predominantly on Air-seq, received feedback and offers of in kind help e.g. sites to sample.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017