The Science of Microbiome Analytics: DNA Detectives Tackle the Supply Chain

Phylagen is a San Francisco-based data analytics company that has developed a platform for tracing goods and materials back to the farm, warehouse or factory. The tool draws on microbiomes, unique types of naturally occurring microbes found all over the world. The genetic information encoded in those microbes create the equivalent of a biological fingerprint. The technology can be applied to a wide variety of products, including food, textiles and, perhaps most importantly, counterfeit goods. Data scientists today can examine, say, the dust on an athletic shoe, and determine with confidence the precise factory where it was manufactured.