University of Alabama in Huntsville assistant biology professor Dr. Leland Cseke and HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology researcher Dr. Jian Han have joined forces to identify invasive plant species that are sneaking into the United States because they look just like desirable crops or ornamentals. Using a machine developed at the Institute, Dr. Cseke's research team at UAH is developing molecular methods akin to plant forensics or DNA fingerprinting to identify harmful invasive plant species that are poseurs. The machine is made by iCubate, a company that was spun off from work done at the Institute by Dr. Jian Han. "We named the company and the product iCubate because it may also be used as a verb," said Dr. Han. "Instead of incubate it, iCubate it." Dr. Han and Dr. Cseke have teamed up with the help of two U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) grants awarded to Dr. Cseke. Under the designation Rapid Automated Barcode Observation (RAMBO) system, USDA provided a two-year grant for $74,665 to develop a rapid molecular identification system for prohibited plants and a two-year $156,742 grant for a rapid automated molecular diagnostic system for federal noxious weed inspection and survey activities.