Navigation Links
Students create low-cost biosensor to detect contaminated water in developing nations
Date:9/6/2012

TEMPE, Ariz. Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old killing as many as 1.5 million children worldwide every year. These startling statistics from the World Health Organization (2009) point to the reason why a group of undergraduate students from Arizona State University is working to develop a low-cost biosensor a simple device that would detect contaminated drinking water.

An interdisciplinary team of nine students is participating in the 2012 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition a prestigious global event that challenges students to design and build simple biological systems made from standard, interchangeable parts.

The ASU team started its research during the summer to prepare for the competition. Its goal is to create a user-friendly, DNA-based biosensor that can detect major pathogens. The low-cost device would be used in the field rather than in a laboratory.

"We are developing a biosensor that will detect pathogenic bacteria, such as Shigella, Salmonella, and E. coli, that cause diarrhea," said Ryan Muller, an undergraduate student in ASU's School of Life Sciences and an iGEM team leader. "Ideally, you would use our biosensor to check different water supplies in third world countries to determine whether the water is safe to drink."

The team is working on two biosensor designs.

"The first one targets DNA," explained Nisarg Patel, a molecular biosciences and biotechnology major in School of Life Sciences, as well as a political science major. "Since each type of pathogen has different DNA, we want to create complementary sequences sequences that match a specific DNA. We will take bacterial samples from the water, pull out the DNA and check whether it complements our DNA probe. If it does, it will produce a color response and then we'll know that the water is contaminated."

Made for portability, Patel said the second design tests the membranes of bacteria. When using the device to test water, if certain proteins attach to a bacterial membrane, the sample will turn blue indicating the water is contaminated with a pathogen and would not be safe to drink.

"The advantage of this design over previous designs in the field lies in the cheap production of probes and the enzymatic chain reaction," said Abhinav Markus, a biomedical engineering student in Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering. "Samples can be tested in the field with minimal cost and high sensitivity."

When the ASU iGEM team first met this summer, Madeline Sands, an anthropology major in the university's School of Human Evolution and Social Change, pitched the idea to build a low-cost biosensor. Sands previously traveled to Guatemala as part of an ASU field experience. There, she conducted community health research under the direction of Jonathan Maupin, a medical anthropologist. Sands realized that contaminated water presents a serious health problem for developing countries.

"With constant earthquakes, landslides and rains in Guatemala, it can often be difficult to determine if a water source is contaminated," said Sands. "My time there made it clear that having a way to detect contaminated water could lead to a further reduction in the incidence and morbidity of diarrhea."

In October, the team will present its device during the iGEM regional competition at Stanford University. If successful, they will move on to the global competition in November at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


'/>"/>
Contact: Sandra Leander
sandra.leander@asu.edu
480-965-9865
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. 5 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships awarded to UH students, alumna
2. College students work to sterilize air, kill pathogens on buses
3. New study published on fertility awareness among American university students
4. Rice students work on weighty problem for doctors
5. Wholly water -- students and scientists gather at NTU to discuss water problem
6. Grant to allow graduate students to research water quantity and quality improvement
7. OpenStax Colleges free textbooks will save students $1 million this fall
8. President, CEO Leppävuori, VTT: Finland should create a national bioeconomy strategy
9. Scientists discover switch in plants to create flowers
10. Climate change may create price volatility in the corn market, say Stanford and Purdue researchers
11. Putting plants online: 4 leading botanical gardens to create first online catalog of all plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Students create low-cost biosensor to detect contaminated water in developing nations
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... YORK , March 21, 2017 ... Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers ... its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s ... give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations to ... but also on predictions of customer intent drawn ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in Germany "  ... ... project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A recent survey conducted by the Weed Science Society of ... in 12 categories of broadleaf crops, fruits and vegetables, while common lambsquarters ranks as ... Canada participated in the 2016 survey, the second conducted by WSSA. A 2015 ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... MENLO PARK, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... announced the publication of “Label-free isolation of prostate circulating tumor cells using Vortex ... publication is the result of a collaboration with Dr. Dino Di Carlo and Dr. ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Customers often prefer ... again and again. METTLER TOLEDO has released two new videos that show how ... integration of the ACT350 into Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs is easy and ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... CNSDose ... lengthy trial and error process by finding the right antidepressant faster. CNSDose ... the doctor-patient relationship through a personalized approach to treatment. , A ...
Breaking Biology Technology: