On March 22, 2012, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced that it has licensed its microbial detection array technology to a St. Louis, Missouri-based company, MOgene LC, a supplier of DNA microarrays and instruments. Known formally as the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA), the technology could enable food safety professionals, law enforcement, medical professionals, and others to detect within 24 hours any virus or bacteria that has been sequenced and included among the array's probes. Developed between October 2007 and February 2008, the LLMDA detects viruses and bacteria with the use of 388,000 probes that fit in a checkerboard pattern in the middle of a one-inch wide, three-inch long glass slide. The current operational version of the LLMDA contains probes that can detect more than 2,200 viruses and more than 900 bacteria. The LLMDA provides researchers with the capability of detecting pathogens over the entire range of known viruses and bacteria. Current multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques can at most offer detection from among 50 organisms in one test. The Livermore team plans to update probes on the array with new sequences of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms from GenBank and other public databases about once per year, in addition to using sequences obtained from collaborators for their probes. LLNL's current collaborators include the University of California, San Francisco; the Blood Systems Research Institute; the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston); the Statens Serum Institut of Copenhagen, Denmark; the University of California, Davis; Imigene; the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Naval Medical Research Center; and the Marine Mammal Center of Sausalito, California.
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