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New Device Based On Firefly Enzyme Provides Quick, Simple Detection Of Food Pathogens

March 19, 2012: 11:33 AM EST
British scientists have developed a simple device that senses food contamination using a version of the enzyme luciferase, which also produces light in fireflies. The Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time (BART) allows the rapid – ten minutes to an hour – testing for food poisoning bacteria by detecting pathogen DNA. If present, the bacteria trigger the luciferase and produce light. The inventors hope to be able to develop the system to detect other diseases, such as HIV-AIDS.
"Firefly technology sheds new light", Press release, Cardiff University, March 19, 2012, © Cardiff University
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