Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hunting for deadly bacteria

13.04.2011
A fluorescent test system

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: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201100477/full

For more information, please contact:
Professor Yingfu Li
Associate Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences and
Canada Research Chair in Directed Evolution of Nucleic Acids
905-525-9140 extension 22462
or liying@mcmaster.ca

Veronica McGuire | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcmaster.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain
15.08.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht New Approach to Treating Chronic Itch
15.08.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>