Time is of the essence when dealing with emerging outbreaks of hantavirus, 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1, bird flu, and MERS (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome) coronavirus. How can state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies help us to rapidly identify the causes of these outbreaks? How can these same technologies be used to identify the cause of an unknown infectious disease in a hospitalized patient? Since viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites are all made of DNA, advanced genomic technologies such as microarrays and deep sequencing have the capacity to simultaneously identify all potential pathogens in clinical samples. Dr. Charles Chui, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center, explores the genomic tools of the virus hunter and their potential to change the way we diagnose infectious disease.