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Title: Forensics for tracing microbial signatures: Biodefence perspective and preparedness for the unforeseen
Authors: Pattnaik, Priyabrata
Sekhar, Krisnamurthy
Keywords: Biological evidence
Biological warfare
Forensic microbiology
Molecular phylogeny
Molecular signature
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Biological weapons are assigned high priority in homeland security, defence, counterproliferation, nonproliferation, intelligence, and counterterrorist programmes. In order to strengthen active defense against development and use of these weapons, several comprehensive technological and forensic capabilities have been developed world over for investigative, intelligence, prosecutive, diplomatic and policy purposes. Microbial forensics is one of such strategies. It is a new discipline combining microbiology and forensic science. Microbial forensics associate the source of the causative agent with a specific individual or group by measuring molecular variations between related microbial strains. In this context, several advanced molecular techniques and practices including molecular phylogeny, whole genome sequencing, microarray analysis, DNA finger printing, etc., can be extremely valuable and effective analytical tools in a microbial forensic investigation. Results from such analyses may be related to the intentional use of microbial agents for bioterrorism or the accidental release of any offensive microorganisms or toxins of public health significance, specifically for the purpose of determining the origin. The new discipline of microbial forensics is an integration of an array of well established fields, such as microbial genomics, phylogenetics, forensic informatics and classical microbiology.
Page(s): 23-31
ISSN: 0972-5849
Source: IJBT Vol.07(1) [January 2008]

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