You can’t see them, or smell them or taste them.
They can be in our water and in our food, multiplying so rapidly that conventional testing methods for detecting pathogens such as E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria come too late for the tens of thousands of Canadians who suffer the ill effects of these deadly bacteria.
Biochemist Yingfu Li and his research team have developed a simple test that can swiftly and accurately identify specific pathogens using a system that will ‘hunt’ for bacteria, identifying their harmful presence before they have a chance to contaminate our food and water.
Like any living thing, bacteria have their own spoor, leaving behind DNA trails of bacterial ‘droppings’. Li tracks these metabolic by-products with molecular beacons – little lighthouses on a molecular scale that actually light up when they detect the DNA sequence left behind.
Li created a DNAzyme sensor that will be able to identify any bacteria, utilizing a method that doesn’t require the steps and specialized equipment typically used to identify whether or not harmful bacteria are present.
“Current methods of foodborne bacterial detection take time. The five days it takes to detect listeria, for example, can translate into an outbreak that costs lives. We have developed a universal test that uses less complex procedures but still generates precise and accurate results,” says Li, a Canada Research Chair in Directed Evolution of Nucleic Acids.
Li’s fluorescent test system was highlighted in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, a prestigious weekly chemistry journal that ranks among the best for the original research it publishes. Li’s paper, co-authored with lab members Monsur Ali, Sergio Aguirre and Hadeer Lazim, was designated a ‘hot paper’ by Angewandte’s editors for its “importance in a rapidly evolving field of current interest”.
“McMaster researchers are known for their ability to provide solutions to problems that impact the public’s well-being. The test that Professor Li has developed will help safeguard the health of Canadians, and supply industry with a reliable means to bring safe food products to consumers and reduce their time to market,” said Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, research and international affairs.
Li’s research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network.For a photo and full copy of the paper, visit:
Veronica McGuire | Newswise Science News
Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells
21.09.2018 | NMI Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Universität Tübingen
A one-way street for salt
21.09.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
24.09.2018 | Information Technology
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy