IARPA posts new RFI on human identification techniques
On February 10, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity posted a request for information on protein sequencing for human identification. Responses to this RFI are due no later than 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on March 4.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is seeking information on using protein to obtain information regarding human identification in the absence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). This request for information (RFI) is issued solely for information gathering and planning purposes; this RFI does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals. The following sections of this announcement contain details of the scope of technical efforts of interest, along with instructions for the submission of responses.
DNA is used frequently for human identification in a variety of scenarios, e.g., criminal investigations, missing persons cases, identifying human remains. However, DNA often is found in very low quantities, as part of a greater complex mixture containing DNA from several contributors, and/or is severely degraded, all of which complicate analysis. IARPA is interested in alternative approaches to human identification that utilize proteins, rather than DNA. The primary sources of such proteins include hair and other keratinized epithelial cells, although the scope is not limited to them. Within this topic, areas of interest include:
- Analysis of proteins from the proteome, specifically of variations in the polypeptide sequences
- Statistical calculations and algorithms designed to identify the most meaningful variations
- Alignment and analysis tools for proteome comparisons
- Methodologies to identify individual contributors from a mixture of 2 or more persons
- Development of a panel of polypeptide variations to be used in a “kit”
- Test plans which include the acquisition of human samples, ground truth data, and the confirmation of all polypeptide variations
IARPA requests that respondents submit ideas related to this topic for use by the Government in formulating a potential program. IARPA requests that submittals briefly and clearly describe the potential approach or concept, outline critical technical issues/obstacles, describe how the approach may address those issues/obstacles and comment on the expected performance and robustness of the proposed approach. If appropriate, respondents may also choose to provide a non-proprietary rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate regarding what such approaches might require in terms of funding and other resources for one or more years. This announcement contains all of the information required to submit a response. No additional forms, kits, or other materials are needed.
IARPA appreciates responses from all capable and qualified sources from within and outside of the US. Because IARPA is interested in an integrated approach, responses from teams with complementary areas of expertise are encouraged.
Full information is available here.