In recent years, various acute Febrile Illnesses (AFI) have emerged and some are life-threatening. The clinical management of AFI heavily relies on accurate detection of the pathogen, which possibly could be bacteria, virus, fungi or parasites. Upon the outbreak of AFI, it is important for the clinicians to immediately know the causative pathogen so that they could decide and guide proper medications accordingly without delay. Traditional detection systems may take several days to weeks to get a definite conclusion of what the pathogens are. However, genomics or proteomics based assays could tremendously increase the sensitivity, specificity and efficiency of the detection process. Please use the knowledge we learned in “Genomic and Proteomic Engineering” to propose a strategy to conquer this clinical challenge. You could focus on the detection of the pathogen or the host response. Please use the following format to prepare your project:
1. Significance (20%), select an AFI for your topic and explain why this research is important, including background knowledge;
2. Specific aims (20%), explain what goals you are attempting to achieve;
3. Research design (60%), explain how you are going to do it. The following 3 sections (20% each) must be included.
- Materials and methods, including working flowchart and description of the technology you propose to use;
- Expected results, data interpretation and Plan B (optional) if you are not confident if this is going to work.
- Future plan, including your ideas of how this could be further developed for clinical use.
4. Literature cited
(1). You could propose to detect one particular pathogen—one bacteria or virus; or you could propose to distinguish bacteria from virus;
(2) All pathogens should have their (gene or protein) sequence-based signatures or markers (e.g., if you use PCR methods, you should specifically write out the target DNA sequences, and primer sequences; if you do protein biomarkers, you should write out the name of the proteins and respective antibodies) which could be used for detection. These sequences could be easily found in google, or Pubmed or google scholar or NCBI/gene bank.
(3) This is an open-book project, please feel free to use internet and library resources and lecture notes as references.