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Researchers develop new ultrasensitive assay to detect most poisonous substance known
Date:5/1/2008

urrent testing options. They achieved this through the use of microscopic beads and special photochemicals that glow under ultraviolet light to achieve a heightened level of sensitivity. The microscopic beads are coated with antibodies to the botulinum neurotoxin and then mixed with the liquefied sample to be tested. The antibodies latch on to any botulinum neurotoxin molecules present in the solution and are then used to convert a special chemical into a fluorescent dye that glows in the dark when illuminated with blue or ultraviolet light. The new assay works well in liquid foods such as milk and carrot juice, and in blood serum.

The testing method has possible application in diagnosing other diseases. Researchers are investigating the potential use of antibodies for different diseases to expand the scope of the test.


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