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Developing kryptonite for Superbug
Date:11/8/2007

usually takes one to two days to mature until it is identifiable. CAMBR biosensors identify staph within three hours, with an equally astounding increase in accuracy. The device already has successfully detected the staphylococcus aureus 16S rRNA gene, 16S rRNA, and enterotoxin B, as well as a biomark for lung cancer.

Our electronic detection capability is approximately 1,000 times more sensitive than the chemilumine technologies currently being used in clinical laboratories, said Wusi Maki, principal investigator for CAMBR biomolecular research.

Our plan is to work with Professor Greg Bohach and use the nanosensor CAMBR has developed to provide a toxin profile that will tell us very quickly, and very accurately, if we are looking at lethal or just mild staph, said Maki.

Bohach is principal investigator and director of the COBRE in the universitys Department of Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MMBB).

There currently is no method available to quickly and accurately judge the virulence of staph bacteria, Bohach noted.

Finding effective capture molecules, those that adhere specifically to staph and its toxins, is key to creating a biosensor-generated toxin profile and insights into the virulence of specific staph infections.

Finding an RNA Fragment in a Molecular Library Stack University of Idaho MMBB graduate student Ryan Dobler has been working with Bohach and scientists at CAMBR labs to identify and replicate capture molecules. Specifically, he has been searching through a vast molecular library looking for an aptamer molecule, a piece of RNA that binds to a target, Dobler explained.

His work has confirmed that the large pool of RNA fragments he studied are binding; specifically, that they attach to fibronectin binding protein. Fibronectin binding protein is a unique protein thats found on the surface of staph bacteria, Dobler said. It helps bind the staph to human tissue.


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Contact: Joni Kirk
joni@uidaho.edu
208-885-7725
University of Idaho
Source:Eurekalert

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