SNAPSHOT: A System for Predicting Human Physical Traits from Sample DNA
This SBIR Phase II project will produce a working prototype of a DNA processing system that will provide the U.S. Department of Defense with a revolutionary new forensics capability, namely, the ability to predict from a human DNA sample the physical traits of its source. The system, code-named SNAPSHOT, uses commercially available DNA processing equipment and can be deployed within any DNA processing lab, even those in theater. To date, the forensics community has used DNA as a mere biometric identifier, as though it contained no more information about an individual than a fingerprint or iris scan. However, with the advent of fast, low-cost sequencing technology, which has enabled the creation of large genotype-to-phenotype datasets, the possibility now exists to computationally mine the human genetic content of DNA for variants that predict physical traits. Having demonstrated the feasibility of producing such a SNAPSHOT trait prediction capability in Phase I, this Phase II project will deliver a working SNAPSHOT prototype and its performance will be demonstrated using blind and unblind testing, on unknown and known DNA samples, respectively, for a select set of traits that includes, among others, eye color, hair color, skin color and face morphology.
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Parabon NanoLabs, Inc.
11260 Roger Bacon Drive Suite 406 Reston, VA 20190
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