DNA- or RNA-based therapeutics against viruses and bacteria. Researchers are applying genomics and proteomics technologies to discover weaknesses in viruses and bacteria that can be targeted with a new generation of antibiotics and antivirals. Such weaknesses include proteins or segments of RNA essential to an infectious organism's survival or replication. Projects are under way targeting both.
In a similar vein, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has funded projects that entail rapid DNA analysis, followed by the rapid synthesis of drugs that can bind, or disable, segments of DNA crucial to an infectious organism's survival.
Researchers have completed genome sequences for numerous infectious agents, including the bacteria that cause malaria, stomach ulcers and food poisoning, as well as organisms responsible for hospital-acquired infections, cholera, pneumonia and chlamydia. Recently, the genome sequence was completed for a potential biowarfare agent, the organism responsible for bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis).