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May 21, 2009

Siemens develops Rapid2 system to identify genomic signatures

Rapid2 instrumental in discovery of H1N1 virus

By CBR Staff Writer

Siemens developed the Rapid2 system to speed up the biomarker discovery process for the development of rapid diagnostic tests.

The process integrates the strength of information technology with genomic sequencing procedures to identify genomic signatures for the rapid detection of discriminative pathogens such as the potentially deadly Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

The company collected the genomic sequences of the H1N1 Flu virus from infected patients from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and used its new system to discover a DNA barcode for detecting the virus.

In addition to applications related to healthcare-associated infections and disease outbreaks, Rapid2 could also be used in the food and water industries to test the products for microbial contamination as well as for identifying genetic targets for cancer diagnostics.

Gayle Wittenberg, programme manager, Siemens, said: The advantage of our Rapid2 system is that it provides an efficient framework for quickly identifying new biomarkers based on the genomic sequence of a particular pathogen. In the event of a pandemic, such as the recent H1N1 Flu outbreak, our system would enable a rapid response with the development of a strain-specific diagnostic test. This would help medical professionals manage an outbreak more effectively from the outset.

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