Scientists Discover Fast-Acting Anthrax Identification Test

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 27, 2014, 6:21 a.m.

Uni­versity of Mis­souri sci­ent­ists have dis­covered a new dia­gnost­ic pro­ced­ure that drastic­ally re­duces the time it takes to identi­fy the pres­ence of an­thrax.

Tests cur­rently used by emer­gency re­spon­ders to check for an­thrax in a cul­ture — ex­trac­ted from the en­vir­on­ment or a bioweapon-de­liv­ery device — can take as long as two days to re­turn res­ults.

The new de­vel­op­ment­al meth­od takes roughly five hours, which could al­low au­thor­it­ies to re­spond to a con­firmed bio­lo­gic­al-weapons in­cid­ent much more quickly, ac­cord­ing to a Wed­nes­day news re­lease from the uni­versity.

“Nor­mally to identi­fy wheth­er an or­gan­ism is present, you have to ex­tract the ma­ter­i­al, cul­ture it, and then pick colon­ies to ex­am­ine that might turn out to be an­thrax bac­teria,” George Stew­art, a med­ic­al bac­teri­olo­gist at the school’s Bond Life Sci­ences Cen­ter, said in provided com­ments. “Then you con­duct chem­ic­al test­ing which takes some time — a min­im­um of 24 to 48 hours. Us­ing this newly iden­ti­fied meth­od, we can re­duce that time to about five hours.”

The bi­o­tech­no­logy firm Guild BioS­ciences cre­ated a patho­gen called “bio­lu­min­es­cent re­port­er phage,” which Stew­art and his team in­jec­ted in­to samples. When an­thrax was present, the sample glowed. The re­search­ers learned the phage was cap­able of de­tect­ing small amounts of an­thrax spores and did not emit false alarms.

The U.S. Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment-fun­ded meth­od also can identi­fy wheth­er an­thrax spores are act­ive, ac­cord­ing to Stew­art.

The pub­lic-private re­search team next plans to seek reg­u­lat­ory ap­prov­al from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment so the dia­gnost­ic tech­no­logy can be de­veloped in­to a dis­trib­ut­able product.

What We're Following See More »
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
19 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
SENT LETTERS TO A DOZEN ORGANIZATIONS
Senate Intel Looks to Preserve Records of Russian Interference
23 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ensure that records related to Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections are preserved as it begins investigating that country’s ties to the Trump team. The panel sent more than a dozen letters to 'organizations, agencies and officials' on Friday, asking them to preserve materials related to the congressional investigation, according to a Senate aide, who was not authorized to comment publicly. The Senate Intelligence Committee is spearheading the most comprehensive probe on Capitol Hill of Russia’s alleged activities in the elections."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
1 days ago
THE LATEST
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
5 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login