LBNL Researchers Win R&D 100 Award for Phylochip Development


Tools for rapid characterization of complex microbial communities are needed to detect and identify microorganisms in a variety of environmental samples. SC researchers at LBNL have developed a microarray technique known as the Phylochip that can detect and identify thousands of different species of microorganisms very rapidly. The Phylochip provides the capability for unprecedented detection and identification in a device about the size of a quarter. The Phylochip was developed by Gary Andersen, Todd DeSantis, Eoin Brodie and Yvette Piceno from LBNL’s Earth Sciences Division. The device has been used to identify airborne bacterial species as part of a biodefense project, to assess microbial communities involved in environmental cleanup projects, and will help to advance the understanding of microbial processes involved in biofuel production and carbon sequestration. The prestigious R&D 100 awards are given in recognition of the top 100 significant technological advances over the past year.