Radio Controlled Aircraft To Sniff Out Biowar Bacteria

A SMALL radio-controlled aircraft could soon be monitoring the air for signs of biological weapons. Fitted with a sensor developed at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington DC, the craft will venture into possible danger zones and send back data on any biowar bacteria it detects.

The biosensor was conceived by a team led by Frances Ligler of the NRL. Its development was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the US Department of Defense.

To carry its sensor into the danger zone, the NRL researchers mounted it in a 19-kilogram radio-controlled aircraft with a wingspan of about 4 metres. "They're remote controlled, like little toy planes," says Ligler. "They're cheap and they fly low, which is where you need to be."

When the plane is in flight, air is forced into an on-board sampling chamber where it creates a vortex in a pool of water. Micrometre-sized particles wash out of the air and into the water. "It takes no power to run it," Ligler says.

Every five minutes, water from the chamber is pumped over the sensor, which consists of four optical fibres, each with a tapered probe fixed to its core (see Diagram). The probe is coated with an antibody to the spores of a particular bioweapon bacterium. If the bacterium is present in the water, it binds to the antibody. Each probe can be used to detect a different bacterium.

The sensor is then bathed in a solution containing a second set of fluorescent antibodies. These are designed to bind to different sites on any target bacteria that are already attached to the probes, creating a sandwich-like structure. When a fluorescent antibody has bound to the bacterium it seeks, it sends light down the optical fibre, where it can be detected by a photodiode to generate an electronic signal.

Repeated sampling allows bacteria to accumulate on the probes. Even if the concentration of bacteria in the air is initially too low to pr

Contact: Claire Bowles
New Scientist

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Radiologists provide safe delivery method for gene therapy
2. Radioactive and toxic waste site plans are a recipe for disaster, says Rutgers sociologist
3. Radiologys role in gene therapy: Image and deliver
4. Radio waves stop marine pests dead in their tracks
5. Radioactive tumbleweeds
6. Radioactive Beads Latest Weapon In Fighting Cancer In Dogs, Cats
7. Maillinckrodt Medical Licenses Invention For Concentration Of Rhenium Radioisotopes
8. Controlled nerve growth factor aids brain cell transplant
9. Gene Therapy Incorporates Molecular Rheostat For Controlled, Long-Term Drug Delivery
10. Sex-Specific Behavior Controlled By Peripheral Nervous System
11. Tightly Controlled Protein Destruction Drives The Cell Cycle

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 16, 2020 , ... A study has been published in ... active noise control device to attenuate typical noises in a simulated neonatal intensive ... alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and other bedside devices that would affect ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 08, 2020 , ... ... and Gene Therapy Regulation, An FDAnews Webinar, Wednesday, July 22, 2020 • 1:30 ... study, but what is the most effective way to complete one? Will the ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... ... outstanding recognition and multiple awards for not only the products and treatments developed, ... Skincare and Vivace® Microneedle RF. All the brands built by ABM have received ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2020)... , ... August 13, 2020 , ... ... annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private ... the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... HOUSTON (PRWEB) , ... August ... ... a biopharmaceutical cold chain validation engineering firm, is making available for ... driving the need to incorporate concurrent transport simulation testing into today’s biologics ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 06, 2020 , ... ... DNA vaccine industries, announces it has closed on the purchase of greenfield for ... in Conroe, TX and includes over 21 acres in the initial acquisition, with ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Introducing Ardent Animal Health – MediVet Biologics rebrands company and ... Known as MediVet Biologics since its formation in 2016, the company is relaunching itself ... will build on its base of innovative therapies for osteoarthritis and cancer. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: