BattelleÂ has entered into a contractor agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a platform designed to identify epigenome signatures that could be used to determine an individualâs exposure to materials associated with weapons of mass destruction.
Under DARPAâs Epigenetic Characterization and Observation program, Battelle said MondayÂ it will identify unique signatures by comparing blood samples from individuals that have dealt with chemical, biological, pesticide or herbicide contaminants to those of control subjects.
âWeâll be developing methods to identify these signatures and how to interpret them for attributionâwhat did the person handle, when and for how long,â said Rachel Spurbeck, a principal research scientist and biologist at Battelle. âThis will even allow for diagnosing illnesses in individuals as a result of their exposure.â
The nonprofit company said the proposed technology will trace a specific epigenome from a biological sample despite the absence of other physical evidence.