Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biosensor Sniffs Out Explosives

Date:
May 9, 2007
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new biosensor that sniffs out explosives and could one day be used to detect landmines and deadly agents, such as sarin gas, according to a paper in Nature Chemical Biology.

When the biosensor detects DNT, it lights up green.
Credit: D. Dhanasekaran

Temple University School of Medicine researchers have developed a new biosensor that sniffs out explosives and could one day be used to detect landmines and deadly agents, such as sarin gas, according to a paper in the June issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

To create the biosensor, Danny Dhanasekaran and colleagues genetically engineered a yeast strain with mammalian (rat) olfactory signaling machinery and genetically linked it to the expression of green fluorescent protein. Into these yeast cells, they cloned individual rat olfactory receptors. When the olfactory receptor "smells" the odor of DNT, an ingredient in the explosive TNT, the biosensor turns fluorescent green. The research team is the first to identify, clone and sequence this novel olfactory receptor.

"We suspected that harnessing the potential of the olfactory system, which can detect innumerable chemical agents with unparalleled sensitivity and selectivity, would be of immense value in the detection of environmental toxins and chemical warfare agents even at sublethal levels," said Dhanasekaran, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Temple's Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology.

The research team is now perfecting the utility of the biosensor, for example, its response time, and believes that the potential therapeutic applications extend beyond the detection of chemical agents. "With further genetic fine-tuning of the olfactory receptor pathway, this system could also be used to screen experimental medications, a crucial step in the development of new drugs," said Dhanasekaran.

Biosensors, which are made from natural ingredients, are preferable to man-made sensors, which can be expensive, cumbersome and inflexible. Dhanasekaran envisions that the biosensor will soon be incorporated into a handheld device or a remote device that can be left at a location and monitored from afar.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "Biosensor Sniffs Out Explosives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070508185845.htm>.
Temple University. (2007, May 9). Biosensor Sniffs Out Explosives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070508185845.htm
Temple University. "Biosensor Sniffs Out Explosives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070508185845.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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