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:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData ... the new role of principal product architect and ... the director of customer development. Both will report ... technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth ... response to high customer demand and customer focus ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 Perimeter ... Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... and biotechnology industries is anticipated. Nanotechnology will be applied at ... delivery to diagnostic applications in clinical trials. Many of the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 ... ... the US Computational Science Symposium (CSS) and the popularity of US Single Day ... will take place in early Summer 2018, in Raleigh, NC. Topics of the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, ... ... (ETC), a consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing ... companies interested in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease tests, introduced the ... Pharmaceutical Association members. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) ... ... , , bioLytical ... (KPA) to introduce the INSTI HIV Self Test to 350 pharmacy representatives in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: