08301 Final Report -- Group Testing in the Life Sciences

A. Schliep, A. Shokrollahi and N. Thierry-Mieg

Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik, Germany, 2008.

Group testing AKA smart-pooling is a general strategy for minimizing the number of tests necessary for identifying positives among a large collection of items. It has the potential to efficiently identify and correct for experimental errors (false–positives and false–negatives). It can be used whenever tests can detect the presence of a positive in a group (or pool) of items, provided that positives are rare. Group testing has numerous applications in the life sciences, such as physical mapping, interactome mapping, drug–resistance screening, or designing DNA-microarrays, and many connections to computer science, mathematics and communications, from error-correcting codes to combinatorial design theory and to statistics. The seminar brought together researchers representing the different communities working on group testing and experimentalists from the life sciences. The desired outcome of the seminar was a better understanding of the requirements for and the possibilities of group testing in the life sciences.