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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 765763, 7 pages
Review Article

Harnessing DNA Synthesis to Develop Rapid Responses to Emerging and Pandemic Pathogens

1New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Department of Life Sciences, Old Westbury, NY 11568-8000, USA
2VitaCode Biotechnology LLC, Research and Development, Box 145, Blauvelt, NY 10913-0145, USA

Received 11 August 2010; Accepted 19 January 2011

Academic Editor: Slobodan Paessler

Copyright © 2011 Lisa M. Runco and J. Robert Coleman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Given the interconnected nature of our world today, emerging pathogens and pandemic outbreaks are an ever-growing threat to the health and economic stability of the global community. This is evident by the recent 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, the SARS outbreak, as well as the ever-present threat of global bioterrorism. Fortunately, the biomedical community has been able to rapidly generate sequence data so these pathogens can be readily identified. To date, however, the utilization of this sequence data to rapidly produce relevant experimental results or actionable treatments is lagging in spite of obtained sequence data. Thus, a pathogenic threat that has emerged and/or developed into a pandemic can be rapidly identified; however, translating this identification into a targeted therapeutic or treatment that is rapidly available has not yet materialized. This commentary suggests that the growing technology of DNA synthesis should be fully implemented as a means to rapidly generate in vivo data and possibly actionable therapeutics soon after sequence data becomes available.