In 2017, the Institute of Molecular Biology “Acad. Roumen Tsanev” at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IMB-BAS) and The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria initiated work on a joint project: “A Field Detector for Genotoxicity from CBRN and Explosive Devices”.
The threat of terrorist attacks, together with the increasing danger of local wars, requires a constant search and elaboration of new means for their counteracting. The Field Detector for Genotoxicity project proposes the development of a portable, field-employable detector for assessment of genotoxicity produced by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) agents, explosives and other illicit compounds. On the basis of bioengineered cells with increased sensitivity to genotoxins, the device will quickly, correctly and surely evaluate the genotoxicity danger for people’s health of CBRN agents. The use of the detector will enable the authorized personnel to estimate CBRN genotoxicity in a fast and sensitive manner and thus will allow adequate design and successful application of the most appropriate counter measures to secure the respective polluted area.
The main goals of the project are:
- To develop a “ready-to-use” device for routine field-employable genotoxicity surveillance with high sensitivity to miniscule concentrations of genotoxins;
- To design a computer algorithm for quick data analysis allowing sensitive, robust and point-of-care genotoxicity detection.
The project is sponsored by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. The work on the project is a strong collaborative research between three NATO countries (Bulgaria, Turkey and the USA) and one NATO-partner country (North Macedonia). This partnership will guarantee the successful implementation of the project and presents an opportunity not only for fostering the collaboration between NATO allies, but also for the training of young military and medical specialists in genome monitoring in cases of human health risk by CBRN agents emitted during and after military operations or terroristic acts.
More information on this project can be found here: https://genesensebg.com/project/.