ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Scientists began noticing a drastic decline of bee colonies with no known cause in 2007. Many studies said that this decline of bees may put the country at risk of a food disaster. What few likely know is that a team of scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center utilized its own software to detect that a combination of both a virus and a fungi was the likely culprit.
Scientists with ECBC’s Research & Technology Directorate’s Point Detection Branch continue to enhance and expand this novel software suite of bioinformatics algorithms, which is capable of identifying biological microbes in various backgrounds without any prior knowledge of the sample. Utilizing data from a mass spectrometry-based proteomics system, the team can run any tandem mass spectral data through the software to provide statistical validation of its identity.