Security Technology News - July 2011
Anthrax Detection Technology Under Development
Posted by Security Technology's News Correspondent on 07/07/2011 - 15:10:00
Researchers in the US are working on new, fast-acting bacterial agent detection technology that's both automatic and potentially portable, too.
The device, produced through a joint venture between New York's Cornell University and the University of Albany's CNSE (College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering) division, can pick on the presence of anthrax in 15 minutes, according to reports.
When presented with a contaminated sample, it can apparently pick out the bacteria when present in extremely small concentrations - down to 40 minute cells - and, as per information on the technology published in the International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, it incorporates advanced nano material-based fluidic cartridges.
Anthrax Detection Technology
Once a sample of the material to be tested has been manually placed on the anthrax detection technology, the machine does the rest, making the process almost entirely automatic.
Anthrax, formally known as Bacillus anthracis, is a microbe with the power to kill. As a component of biological warfare, it can be used by insurgent forces to infect subjects, potentially through inhalation or ingestion (i.e. when it's present in food samples or water supplies).
Known as a ‘lab-on-a-chip' device, the new anthrax detector features sample and reagent inputs and carries out DNA purification measures.
"The average time required for DNA purification during these experiments was approximately 15 minutes, and when combined with real-time PCR analysis, this resulted in an average time to detection of 60 minutes", the researchers explained, adding: "Due to its small size and low power requirements, this system can be further developed as a truly portable, hand-held device".
Almost a decade ago, the US experienced a series of anthrax attacks, in which contaminated letters were sent, with the result that five people died and 17 more were infected.
As per a statement made by CNSE, should an attack occur, anthrax detection measures are vital if high fatality levels are to be avoided.
Image copyright US Marine Corps
See also -
Products and Services:
Recently Added News
Examinations of two key US weapons supply databases indicate that thousands of arms destined for Afghanistan's National Security Forces are missing.
Death of Ebola-infected man in Nigeria after having flown in from Liberia prompts officials to improve screening procedures at airports and beyond.
With 6,000+ participating atheletes and over one million spectators, the 2014 Commonwealth Games has a suitably vast security operation in place.
High-energy neutrons fired into a warhead can indicate the presence or absence of nuclear material - a potentially very valuable new technique