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 September 16, 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. 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