National Labs & New Research

DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory released an updated bioinformatics software version called Sequedex that is capable of identifying DNA from viruses and all parts of the Tree of Life. This helps researchers identify pathogen-caused diseases and select therapeutic targets for cancer treatment.

As part of the testing, the updated new Version 1 edition of Sequedex software  is able to classify fragments 250,000 times faster than conventional methods. With Sequedex a laptop computer can analyze DNA sequences faster than any current DNA sequencer can create them.

Los Alamos researchers designed the software to perform bioinformatics and to interpret the results. Sequedex VI is available under a free six month demonstration license. Go to to download.

In another project, the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLNL) $5.6 million to develop a next generation neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. The technology which is part of DARPA’s SUBNETS program, will help to understand and treat PTSD, TBI, chronic pain and other conditions.

LLNL and Medtronic are collaborating with UCSF, UC Berkeley, Cornell University, New York University, PositScience Inc., and Cortera Neurotechnologies  on the project. Some collaborators will develop the electronic components of the device while others will validate and characterize it.

As part of the collaboration, Medtronic will consult on the development of new technologies and provide their investigational Active PC+S Deep Brain Stimulation System (DBS). This system has recently been made available to leading researchers for early-stage research and could lead to a better understanding of how various devastating neurological conditions develop and progress.

LLNL’s Neural Technology group is developing an implantable neural devices with hundreds of electrodes by leveraging their thin-film neural interface technology, a more than tenfold increase over current DBS devices.

When surgically implanted into the brain, the neural device is designed to help researchers understand the underlying dynamics of neuropsychiatric disorders and re-train neural networks to unlearn these disorders and restore proper functions. This will enable the device to eventually be removed from the patient instead of the patient being dependent on it.

Satinderpall Pannu, Director of the Lab’s Center for Micro and Nanotechnology and Center for Bioengineering reports that his team has received 25 patents and the goal is to build a prototype neural device in four years for clinical trials at UCSF.

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