Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Glow-Beetles help to find Microbes

21.09.2005


To calculate microbes in milk or in the operating-room, it is necessary to make them glow like well-known glow-beetles (Lampyridae gen.) do. Now that the secret of glow-beetles’ luminescence has been discovered, and researchers of the Lomonosov Moscow State University not only synthesize the enzyme required for luminescence, but they also produce snap analysis sets based on it, the sets allowing to literally calculate microbes practically in any analysis object within several minutes. The most complicated cases would require the six-hour analysis.



“Our method is based on measuring intensity of luminescence, which occurs upon interaction of a special enzyme, luciferase, with molecules of the so-called ATF - adenosinetriphosphoric acid, says Professor Ugarova, (Doctor of Science (Chemistry)), research manager. This substance called universal accumulator and energy source of living organisms exists in any bioplast. Accordingly, it does exist in microbes as well.”

If membranes of microbe’s sells are destroyed, ATF will, bluntly speaking, simply flow out of them and its quantity may be determined with the help of luciferase. The relation is direct: the more bioplast the sample contains, the more ATF is contained in the solution and the more it will glow upon addition of the enzyme. Certainly, this is a highly simplified outline of the process, and the way from the first investigations up to a simple and reliable methodology took years. However, it has been almost passed through, at any rate the first pilot batches of snap analysis sets have already been released.


It is worth noting that the word “snap” in the name of the method is very important. The point is that the microbial contamination analysis is now performed in a traditional way. A sample is placed in a nutrient medium. If microorganisms exist in the sample, they propagate themselves and in a day or two their number is usually sufficient for counting under a microscope.

Evidently, the method is not very accurate, and most importantly - it takes too much time. A prompt response cannot be expected, particularly if it comes to the objects where microbes are knowingly few, for example, sterile instruments or premises. However, in the absence of a better one, this method is so far the sole approved by the all-Union State Standard.

However, already by the end of 2005, it can be expected that the all-Union State Standard for microbiological purity control of unboiled milk for example will include two methods for choice, one of them being based on the research by the Moscow chemists. The method will not always work instantly either, but the authors warrant that it will definitely be precise. If microbes are few in the object, they will have to be bred as the researchers put it, but no longer than for six hours versus one hundred and twenty hours under the ordinary method. This, of course, will be done in exclusive cases, when the premises is indeed practically sterile, and bioplast is scarce in it. The standard analysis takes only several minutes, i.e. dozens of times less than the traditional microbiological one.

The LUMTECH small-scale enterprise will produce sets for snap-control of microbe contamination. The company exists for about a year, since February 2004 when researchers of the Lomonosov Moscow State University established it up with assistance of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE). Methods are basically ready, although the authors continue scientific research to develop new ones. They also carry put paper work in parallel to approve the new method and to include it into the all-Union State Standard of the Russian Federation.

In the meantime, pilot batches of the sets are already being manufactured by the company. Luciferase for reagents is already produced not by glow-beetles but by bacteria specially taught by chemists, a special gene being embeded in the DNA of these bacteria for this purpose. So the enzyme is obtained absolutely identical to the natural one and at any time of the day. This does not sound very romantic, but it is reliable and enzyme can be produced in any required amount.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>