The cause of the attack was ascertained through blood tests of the victims, but that was only possible once they were already infected. Today we are all more aware of the dangers of biological weapons, but if we were to be subject to such an attack how would we quickly know whether it was a hoax or a biological threat. To tackle this problem scientists at the University of Surrey in a study sponsored by Smiths Detection have found a technique that may allow the authorities to identify biological agents more quickly and efficiently.
The problem in detecting harmful bacteria in the air is that it is mixed up with other non-biological pollutants such as diesel fumes. Until now it has been impossible to separate these non-biological particles from the bacteria which need to be tested, thus quick, accurate identification of bacteria is difficult. Dr Fatima Labeed and her team at the University of Surrey have used a unique form of the process called dielectrophoretic separation to correctly separate diesel particulates from those of an anthrax bacteria substitute. This process would enable the authorities to isolate the bacteria more quickly and therefore use the appropriate biosensing instruments to work out what form of bacteria had been released.
Whilst the process at this point has only been used to separate diesel particle from anthrax-like microorganisms, it is hoped that applications for other potentially dangerous biological materials may also be found. Dr Labeed comments. “Perhaps one day this technology could be as common as x-ray machines used in airports”
Stuart Miller | alfa
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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