The Hunt for Genetically Engineered Organisms

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Similar to a Star Trek Tricorder device, physicists and biologists at the University of Notre Dame, Rice University, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York have teamed up to develop a field-ready device to detect the genetic or protein signature of genetically engineered (GE) organisms in the environment. This device uses Light Transmission Spectroscopy (LTS) to measure the size of very small particles (nanoparticles). This is applied to detection, by coating the outside of these small particles with single stranded DNA or antibodies that will bind only to targeted DNA or proteins from GE organisms in the environment, thus growing in size, which is detectable by the LTS device. The LTS device can run off a car battery and links up to a laptop for real time detection in the field.”

NIFA supports this project through the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants (BRAG) Program.

Read the full story at Rice University News & Media. Photo courtesy of Jeff Fitlow-Rice University.

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