And we saw that it corresponds well, said Ikuma. Something that sets the bacteria off also sets the cells off.
Using the toxin, N-ethylmaleimide, as a constant, Ikuma and Rzigalinski are taking measurements and seeing correlations of GGKE response to mitochondrial damage in cell cultures.
If we can create a library of cellular response, we might have either a generic or a specific predictor, said Brian Love, professor of materials science and engineering at Virginia Tech. We dont know yet because we havent tested other cell types.
Brian Love has been assisting with the research teams attempts to immobilize the sentinel bacteria as part of a biosensor design strategy.
Nancy Love (www.cee.vt.edu/people/love.html) began her work with microbes by finding organisms that could be used to digest waste in wastewater treatment plants. When she noticed that the useful organisms were being put out of commission by various toxins in the water, she and a student went to a conference of microbiologists who work with stress systems. We saw a connection between what they were seeing in food processing and what we were seeing in wastewater systems.
She discovered that the ubiquitous Gram negative heterotrophic bacteria were being used to monitor food processing systems so why not wastewater?
After doing work to develop what Brian Love describes as bacterial canaries as an early warning system to protect the microbes in wastewater systems, Nancy Love began to look for other applications, from water monitoring in general to specific health monitoring in other biological systems in the environment, and met Rzigalinski, who
Contact: Susan Trulove