The Breakthrough

In collaboration with MIT, scientists from Ben-Guiron University of the Negev (BGU) have developed a new technology that can accurately assess pathogens from environmental samples in under 24 hours. Conventional methods can identify a strain of Salmonella from an environmental soil sample in 3-5 days. The team proved their technique after detecting a pathogen called Pseudomonas aeruginosa from a water sample much faster than conventional methods.

The Process

The basis for this new method is quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and is used in molecular biology to monitor the real-time amplification of DNA. This process limits detection down to one cell, achieved by amplifying a piece of DNA and generating millions of copies of a particular sequence. Samples are then first enriched in a broth, then in a dilution series, and then enumerated by a technique called the "Most Probable Number" (MPN) estimation that is conducted using qPCR.

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