Navigation Links
Texas Biomed reports faster, more economical method for detecting bioterror threats
Date:11/5/2012

Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientists in San Antonio have developed a faster, less expensive route to screen suitable tests for bioterror threats and accelerate the application of countermeasures.

The new process screens for pairs of affinity reagents molecular magnets that bind to and hold on to their targets, be they toxins, viruses or bacteria. That will enable countermeasures to be selected and utilized much faster than the current practice.

"Using crude extracts from E. coli, the workhorse bacterium of the biotechnology laboratory, the new route bypasses the need for purification and complex equipment, enabling screening to be performed in under an hour," said Andrew Hayhurst, Ph.D., a Texas Biomed virologist.

Normally, he said, such screening requires sophisticated costly equipment to purify and analyze the affinity reagents. Such analysis becomes a huge burden when hundreds of reagents need to be checked and can take weeks to months.

The process funded primarily by Texas Biomed and the San Antonio Area Foundation, and in part by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was described online in the November 5, 2012 issue of Nature Publishing Group's Scientific Reports.

"We need an inexpensive route to screen libraries of affinity reagents. It had to be simple and self-contained as we eventually needed it to work in the space-suit lab or hot zone," said Hayhurst.

His surprisingly simple scheme allows scientists to make stop-gap tests to any given biological threat in a matter of days, with the screening step completed in an hour. The goal now is to speed up the entire process to work within a single day.

Hayhurst initially developed the pipeline using llama antibodies as the affinity reagents to botulinum neurotoxins, known as the world's most poisonous poisons 100 billion times more toxic than cyanide and handled in a specialized biosafety cabinet at biosafety level 2. Satisfied that the system was working, he then took it into the biosafety level 4 laboratory with his assistant, Laura Jo Sherwood, and they generated a stop-gap test for Ebolavirus Zaire in days. This virus has been shown to be 95 percent lethal in outbreak settings and with no vaccine or therapeutic it is a risk to the U.S. through importation. Botulinum neurotoxins and Ebolavirus are among a handful of threats now categorized as Tier 1 agents, presenting the greatest risk of deliberate misuse with the most significant potential for mass casualties or devastating effects to the economy, critical infrastructure; or public confidence.

"Being able to respond quickly to known biological threats will better prepare us for combating emerging and engineered threats of the future," Hayhurst said. "However, the great thing about this test pipeline is that it can be applied to almost any target of interest, including markers of diseases like cancer."

Texas Biomed has applied for a patent on the process. It potentially could be licensed to companies for developing diagnostics to specific medical conditions, tests for environmental monitoring, or to accelerate in-house research programs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joseph Carey
jcarey@txbiomed.org
210-258-9437
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. SMU professor Louis Jacobs honored with prestigious award from Texas science teachers
2. EyeLock Inc. Brings High-Tech Iris Biometric Production to Texas
3. Newly discovered letters and translated German ode expand Texas link to infamous Bone Wars
4. Controlling gait of horses may be possible, says key study from Texas A&M
5. BP Biofuels, Texas AgriLife Research sign agreement to advance biofuel feedstock development
6. NSBRI renews space life sciences graduate programs at MIT, Texas A&M
7. University of Texas Medical Branch selected to manage Center for Polar Medical Operations
8. Mining cleanup benefits from Texas A&M expertise
9. Diet of early human relative Australopithecus shows surprises, says Texas A&M researcher
10. University of North Texas Health Science Center Advances Forensic Research by Investing in Semiconductor DNA Sequencing Technology
11. NASA satellite measurements imply Texas wind farm impact on surface temperature
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a ... report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Forecasts by Product ... Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public ... & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business ... Are you looking for a definitive report on ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Vilnius, Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a multiyear collaboration to ... provide CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across all applications. , ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS ... the addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US ... absorbable hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and interpret datasets, ... Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of the double-helix ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... YORBA LINDA, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, ... ... adapted to upregulate any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and ... activation (CRISPRa) system with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function ...
Breaking Biology Technology: