The 100K Genome Project—conceived by researchers at Agilent, the University of California at Davis, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—is a massive response to a massive problem. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 48 million cases of food poisoning every year. Thousands die.
The goal of the project, launched last year, is as simple as it is vital: sequence the genomes of common foodborne pathogens such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli in order to quickly identify and contain outbreaks.
Now scientists at UC Davis, where the sequencing is being carried out, report that they have completed the genomes of the first 10 infectious microorganisms. Bart Weimer, the director of the project, estimates this information—being made available in a public database—will cut in half the time needed to diagnose and treat foodborne illnesses.
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