News Stories

Superbug Detector

Antibiotic-resistant Superbugs are a real problem in hospitals, where they're created, but they're even more of a problem when they walk out with discharged patients, and with their visitors and the health workers who take care of them, and infiltrate the general population. But now someone has invented a kind of CSI for dangerous superbugs?a superbug detector.

Detecting bacteria, viruses and other dangerous substances in hospitals, airplanes and other commonly contaminated places could soon be as easy as wiping a napkin or paper towel across a surface. Inventor Margaret Frey says, "It's very inexpensive, it wouldn?t require that someone be highly trained to use it, and it could be activated for whatever you want to find. So if you?re working in a meat-packing plant, for instance, you could swipe it across some hamburger and quickly and easily detect E. coli bacteria." We certainly could have used that with the recent spinach scare!

The biodegradable absorbent wipe would contain nanofibers containing antibodies to numerous biohazards and chemicals and would signal by changing color or through another effect when the antibodies attached to their targets. Users would simply wipe the napkin across a surface; if a biohazard were detected, the surface could be disinfected and retested with another napkin to be sure it was no longer contaminated.

Frey says, "Using this method we should, in theory, be able to quickly activate the fabric to detect whatever is the hazard of the week, whether it is bird flu, mad cow disease or anthrax. We're probably still a few years away from having this ready for the real world, but I really believe there is a place for this type of product that can be used by people with limited training to provide a fast indication of whether a biohazard is present."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

Now if we could only make sure that the biohazards we're testing for don't originate with US. Subscribers: Listen to Anne Strieber's interview with Colm Kelleher about the possible connection between Alzheimer's and Mad Cow Disease! And if you REALLY want to learn about conspiracy, chat with Jim Marrs about 911?and everything else conspiratorial?on Saturday, October 7! Subscribers can still read the text of the recent chat with conspiracy theorist Peter Levenda. But in order to join these conversations, you need to subscribe today.

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