Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research To Combat Biological Warfare

Date:
April 4, 2006
Source:
University Of East Anglia
Summary:
A new technique for rapid, on-the-spot detection of dangerous biological substances could give a major boost to anti-terrorist operations worldwide. Harnessing the ability of coated metal particles to change colour in the presence of toxins, viruses and bacteria, it aims to provide a quick 'yes/no' indication of the safety of substances found at crime scenes, in luggage or in suspects' possession.

A new technique for rapid, on-the-spot detection of dangerous biological substances could give a major boost to anti-terrorist operations worldwide.

Related Articles


Harnessing the ability of coated metal particles to change colour in the presence of toxins, viruses and bacteria, it aims to provide a quick ‘yes/no’ indication of the safety of substances found at crime scenes, in luggage or in suspects’ possession.

This will be one of ten case studies highlighting the current research supported by EPSRC in the area of forensic science on show at Crime Prevention and Detection Technologies Event: Forensic Science on March 30 at City Barbican Hotel, London.

Countering biological attacks is a key priority in the war against terror. While most methods of identifying bioterrorist materials are lab-based, the pioneering technique being developed at the University of East Anglia has the potential to be incorporated in an easy-to-use field instrument.

This would enable security services to deal promptly with dangerous substances and avoid taking unnecessary, time-consuming precautions with harmless ones.

The technique is based on the coating of metal nanoparticles with different sugars that recognise particular biological substances. The substance binds to the sugar, which causes a solution containing the nanoparticles to change colour (e.g. gold particles turn from red to blue), revealing the presence of the substance. The colour of a solution of the nanoparticles changes colour when the particles clump together. Light interacting with the nanoparticles is absorbed differently when the particles have aggregated as compared to when they are dispersed. Ensuring this colour change occurs even when small amounts of harmful substances are present is a key objective of the research.

The project also involves the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory of the Ministry of Defence. The new technique could even be adapted to help developing countries detect water infected with cholera and other diseases as a result of natural disasters. Professor David Russell and Professor Robert Field of the University of East Anglia are leading the 3-year initiative, which is receiving EPSRC funding of just over 219,000. Professor Russell says: “Our project is focusing on the basic science needed to underpin the new technique. Once this is complete, device design and field testing will be needed, with real-world deployment of a simple, robust detection system perhaps 5 years away.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of East Anglia. "Research To Combat Biological Warfare." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404203508.htm>.
University Of East Anglia. (2006, April 4). Research To Combat Biological Warfare. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404203508.htm
University Of East Anglia. "Research To Combat Biological Warfare." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404203508.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Elon Musk's Hyperloop Moves Forward

Elon Musk's Hyperloop Moves Forward

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) Zipping around at 800-miles an hour is coming closer to reality in California. An entire town is being built around Elon Musk&apos;s Hyperloop concept and it wants you to stop in for a ride when it&apos;s ready. Brett Larson is on board. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 26, 2015) Dutch scientists have developed a smart bicycle that uses sensors, wireless technology and video to warn riders of traffic dangers. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Robot dogs are the perfect pet for some in Japan who go to repairmen-turned-vets when their pooch breaks down - while a full Buddhist funeral ceremony awaits those who don&apos;t make it. Duration: 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins