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Anthrax Dectectors Are Coming

Date:
October 30, 2001
Source:
Office Of Naval Research
Summary:
A researcher working under an Office of Naval Research grant is just a couple of months away from completing a prototype detector designed to sound the alarm when airborne microbes such as anthrax are in the air.

A researcher working under an Office of Naval Research grant is just a couple of months away from completing a prototype detector designed to sound the alarm when airborne microbes such as anthrax are in the air.

Dr. Jeanne Small, a biophysicist and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash., has come up with a detector that continuously samples the air, offering analysis in under a half-hour. “Our research showed that common substances such as road dust and soot behaved differently than bacteria,” Small said.

Dr. Small has successfully tested biological particles ranging in size from 1 to 10 microns by using lasers and acoustic sensors to detect and identify microbes. In the research, laser pulses were used to excite light-absorbing substances that release energy as heat. Heat-induced solvent expansion generated sound waves, which were measured by an ultrasonic transducer.

Working with Dr. Small is InnovaTek (http://www.tekkie.com), a Richland, Wash., company that makes the air sampler, and Quantum Northwest (http://www.qnw.com) in Spokane, Wash., is building the sensor component.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Office Of Naval Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Office Of Naval Research. "Anthrax Dectectors Are Coming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011030072005.htm>.
Office Of Naval Research. (2001, October 30). Anthrax Dectectors Are Coming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011030072005.htm
Office Of Naval Research. "Anthrax Dectectors Are Coming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011030072005.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

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