Both cancer cells and the chemicals used to make bombs can foil detection because they appear in trace amounts too small for conventional detection techniques. Tel Aviv University has developed the ultimate solution: a molecule that can magnify weak traces of “hidden” molecules into something we can detect and see.
Using molecular techniques in nanotechnology, Prof. Doron Shabat of TAU's Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry has engineered new molecules that have the power to identify targets -- such as biomarkers in cancer, materials in explosives, or pollutants in water -- even when present in miniscule amounts. Prof. Shabat’s invention, like a bionic nose, can “sniff out” these trace molecules and amplify them tenfold, making them noticeable for doctors and crimefighters.
Details of Prof. Shabat's project appeared in a paper published in the journal Chemical Communication last year.
Fights Chemical and Biological Threats In Our Bodies and Environment
Prof. Shabat, a bioorganic chemist, plans to develop the technology so that it amplifies signals millions and billions times stronger than they are. “We are developing a molecular system that amplifies certain events,” says Prof. Shabat. “That way we’ll be able to respond faster to medical, security and environmental threats. In effect, our device can amplify just about any chemical system that has a certain kind of reactivity.”
“It has the potential to help doctors diagnose diseases -- those with biomarkers, and enzymatic activities that are compatible with our molecular probe,” says Prof. Shabat. “The long list includes a few kinds of cancer, as well, including prostate cancer. But it also has applications for testing for impurities in water. It has both biological and non-biological applications.”
A Track-and-Trace Solution
Prof. Shabat’s invention is a molecular sensor that acts in a solution. A chemist would add trace amounts of the test material from the field -- a spoonful of contaminated drinking water, for example -- into the solution and would simply see if the color of the solution changes. If so, the targeted material -- the cancer, or explosive, or pollutant -- is present.
As of now, Prof. Shabat’s is a unique solution. The prototype is ready, and Prof. Shabat plans to use it to “amplify” problems around the world to improve healthcare, safety, and security. Some of the research behind the new invention was done in collaboration with the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.
George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Bionic Nose > Molecule > biomarkers in cancer > bombs > cancer cells > chemicals > contaminated drinking water > conventional detection techniques > enzymatic activities > impure water > materials in explosives > microscopic signs of cancer > molecular probe > molecular technique > molecular techniques in nanotechnology > non-biological applications > pollutants in water > ultimate solution
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences