Navigation Links
Iowa State researchers develop technology for early detection of viruses

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University researchers have developed a technology that detects a single molecule of the virus associated with cervical cancer in women.

Thats a significant improvement over the current test for the human papillomavirus, said Edward Yeung, an Iowa State Distinguished Professor and the Robert Allen Wright Chair in Chemistry who led the research team that developed the new test. The current test, the Nobel Prize-winning polymerase chain reaction technique, requires 10 to 50 virus molecules for detection.

We are always interested in detecting smaller and smaller amounts of material at lower and lower concentrations, Yeung said. Detecting lower levels means earlier diagnosis.

The discovery by Yeung, whos also a senior chemist and deputy program director for the U.S. Department of Energys Ames Laboratory at Iowa State; Jiangwei Li, an Iowa State doctoral student; and Ji-Young Lee, a former Iowa State doctoral student; will be published in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry.

Their work was funded by a five-year, $950,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health with additional support from The Robert Allen Wright Endowment for Excellence at Iowa State.

The project advanced just as human papillomavirus made national headlines. In June of 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer, precancerous lesions and genital warts caused by four types of the virus. The vaccine has been approved for females ages 9 to 26.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. The agency estimates about 6.2 million Americans are infected every year and over half of all sexually active Americans are infected at some time in their lives.

Yeung said single molecule detection of the virus could help women and families decide to get vaccinated. He said vaccines administered after such early detection could still have time to stop the virus.

The new detection technology improves current technology by eliminating a step to amplify DNA samples for testing. Although the current test is efficient and well understood, the amplification can cause small contaminants to create test errors.

Yeungs single molecule spectroscopy technique involves creating chemical reagents that recognize and fluorescently tag the genetic sequence of the human papillomavirus. Test samples pass through a laser beam that lights the tags. Cameras capture the images for computer analysis.

The research team tested the technique using samples from normal Pap smears. They also spiked some of those samples with the virus to make sure the tests picked up known amounts of the virus.

Although this test concentrated on detecting the human papillomavirus, Yeung said it should detect HIV, avian flu and other viruses as well.

Will the technology make it to medical labs?

Yeung -- who helped start CombiSep Inc. in 1999 to develop and market chemical separation instruments for pharmaceutical and life sciences research (the company merged with Advanced Analytical Technologies Inc. of Ames late last year) -- said he wont be directly involved in taking the detection technology to market. But he said companies have expressed some interest in licensing and developing the technology.

As that project moves on, Yeung will continue looking for ways to detect chemical targets at the smallest limits. He said the next challenge is to figure out how to detect single molecules of proteins.


Contact: Edward Yeung
Iowa State University  

Related biology news :

1. Mitochondrial DNA mutations play significant role in prostate cancer
2. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
3. First-ever Compounds To Target Only Metastatic Cells Are Highly Effective Against Breast, Prostate, And Colon Cancers
4. NC State scientist finds soft tissue in T. rex bones
5. Estrogen-like Component of Plastic Stimulates Growth of Certain Prostate Cancer Cells
6. Test for early detection of prostate cancer shows promise
7. Major new UNC-based drinking water study suggests pregnancy fears may be overstated
8. Disease diagnosis, bioengineering covered at state nano summit
9. U-M researchers identify new blood test for prostate cancer
10. U-M scientists say fused genes trigger the development of prostate cancer
11. K-State professors discover enzyme responsible for creation of a beetles hard shell
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Iowa State researchers develop technology for early detection of viruses
(Date:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... British Columbia , June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... appointed to the new role of principal product ... been named the director of customer development. Both ... NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s ... teams in response to high customer demand and ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... June 16, 2016 The ... expected to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, ... Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in ... expected to drive the market growth. ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal articles ... findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, ... scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak ... and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used ... investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: