The following is an excerpt from an article by Tom Temin of Federal News Network.
In the ever-evolving work of protecting public health, the nation has benefited from regular advancements in technologies for detecting and identifying pathogens. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a special unit called the Office of Advanced Molecular Detection (OAMD.) It’s dedicated to advancing such technologies.
“The primary job of the OAMD is to help guide that innovation towards public health applications,” said Director Duncan MacCannell. “And to help figure out how to use these technologies to keep the public safe.”
The OAMD, which recently celebrated 10 years in business, focuses on pathogen genomics — the genetic makeup of germs — and on bioinformatics and epidemiology. MacCannell said building capability in these three areas requires investment not just in laboratories and server rooms.
“It also means investing in people and ensuring that we have a strong, capable technical workforce that is able to actually use these technologies,” he said.
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Tackling Government Challenges Through Science and Technology, sponsored by Noblis, is a new Federal News Network podcast series highlighting how field experts are working to solve a mission-related challenge by applying science and technology. In the last episode, Taka Ariga, chief data scientist and director of the Innovation Lab at the Government Accountability Office talked about how AI success starts long before an agency applies data to an algorithm. Listen On Demand >