Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Professors To Develop Hand-held Pathogen Testing Device

Date:
December 20, 2006
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Testing for deadly food, air and water pathogens may get a lot easier and cheaper thanks to the work of a Michigan State University researcher and his team. Syed Hashsham, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Microbial Ecology, is developing a portable, hand-held device capable of detecting up to 50 microbial threat agents in air, water and food

Testing for deadly food, air and water pathogens may get a lot easier and cheaper thanks to the work of a Michigan State University researcher and his team.

Related Articles


Syed Hashsham, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Microbial Ecology, is developing a portable, hand-held device capable of detecting up to 50 microbial threat agents in air, water and food.

“This device will give us the ability to measure pathogens in a manner and at a price that really matters for human health,” Hashsham said. “If we can screen for all pathogens together, we can minimize the threat significantly.”

Hashsham intends for the portable, hand-held device to be an all-in-one pathogen testing center where DNA amplification and pathogen identification will happen on the same DNA biochip. A DNA biochip has signature pieces of DNA attached to a silica surface, similar to a computer chip, and is about the size of a thumbnail.

Today, testing air, water or food for pathogens like cholera and dysentery must be done one pathogen at a time. Testing for each pathogen on an individual basis is dangerous, more expensive and time consuming. Simultaneous testing simplifies the process, making it safer and more cost effective.

Earlier this year, Hashsham was awarded $966,608 from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to develop and commercialize the device.

Hashsham, James Tiedje, University Distinguished Professor of crop and soil sciences anddirector of the Center for Microbial Ecology, and Erdogan Gulari, professor at the University of Michigan’s Department of Chemical Engineering, formed a cross-disciplinary team to develop this technology.

The procedure begins with sample processing that extracts DNA from all microorganisms present in the sample. The DNA can then be introduced into the device where it will undergo polymerase chain reaction for the selected harmful pathogens. Polymerase chain reaction is a process that takes a small amount of DNA and makes billions of copies so the pathogens can be easily detected, Hashsham explained.

Most of the genetic material in any bacteria isn’t harmful. For instance, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, responsible for the waterborne illness cholera, has many housekeeping genes that maintain the organism, but are not dangerous to humans by themselves. But the gene producing the cholera toxin is harmful. These genes serve as good markers for detection. Hashsham’s device will be designed to look for such marker genes.

“This technology is rugged and highly parallel; it can analyze lots of marker genes in a lot of samples, together with significantly lower false positives,” Hashsham said.

He said the hand-held testing device could be used anywhere that cost-effective testing of food, water or air is needed for a number of pathogens.

“Because of the lower cost, there also will be applications in countries where fewer resources are available for drinking water safety,” Hashsham said.

Looking toward the future, Hashsham has been in touch with several organizations that might be interested in the device. AquaBioChip LLC, a Lansing-based company formed by the same team through a previous grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., will test the device under field conditions.

He has a team of six graduate students and technicians working on this device. “They are the heart of the project as well as the scientists being trained for the future,” Hashsham said. That number of employees is likely to increase when the device gets to the commercialization stage.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Professors To Develop Hand-held Pathogen Testing Device." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061219095426.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2006, December 20). Professors To Develop Hand-held Pathogen Testing Device. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061219095426.htm
Michigan State University. "Professors To Develop Hand-held Pathogen Testing Device." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061219095426.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

RightThisMinute (Jan. 29, 2015) — If your car has an "Insane Mode" then you know it&apos;s fast. Well, these unsuspecting passengers were in for one insane ride when they hit the button. Tesla cars are awesome. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Stunt Pilots Perform Incredibly Close Flyby

Two Stunt Pilots Perform Incredibly Close Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 29, 2015) — Two pilots from &apos;Escuadrilla Argentina de Acrobacia Aιrea&apos; perform an incredibly low altitude flyby stunt during a recent show exhibition in Argentina. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
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