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MIT Scientists Develop Faster, Cheaper Foodborne Pathogen Detection Method

April 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new technology developed at MIT may help prevent the 60 deaths and 73,000 illnesses caused each year by the foodborne pathogen E. coli bacteria. The technology is based on a novel type of liquid droplet that binds to bacterial proteins They are then detected by a smartphone much more quickly and less expensively than by existing food safety tests, which often involve placing food samples in a culture dish for two or three days to see if harmful bacterial colonies form. According to one of the scientists who helped develop the process, “The great advantage of our device is you don’t need specialized instruments and technical training to do this.”  [Image Credit: © Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT]
Anne Trafton, "New Technology Could Offer Cheaper, Faster Food Testing", News release, MIT News, April 05, 2017, © MIT News Office
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