Urban Barcode Research Project Team The Viral Scavengers
Urban Barcode Research Project
Research Topic:
Wildlife & health
Taxonomic Group Studied:
Animals: Invertebrate


Expanding, characterizing and repurposing the invertebrate virosphere
Bryce Demopoulos, Ethan Lin
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Manhattan
Benjamin tenOever


Modern medicine demands the capacity to deliver genetic or biological cargo to specific cell types. Past efforts to achieve this goal have relied on the retooling and re-engineering of a small subset of vertebrate viruses with limited success. Remaining challenges with regards to in vivo delivery include finding novel viral vectors that can achieve different target specificities in addition to those that are more amenable to synthesize de novo. In an attempt to address these remaining limitations, we propose to collect and sample diverse invertebrate species to isolate and identify RNA viruses associated with them. As the invertebrate virosphere remains largely unknown, we hypothesize that we will identify novel viruses whose components can be characterized and repurposed to build a new suite of viral-based tools. To this end, we propose to isolate and sequence RNA from a diverse library of invertebrates by next-generation sequencing and subsequently perform de novo genome assembly on


DNA Barcoding Poster
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