A B Cell-Based Sensor for Rapid Identification of Pathogens

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Science  11 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5630, pp. 213-215
DOI: 10.1126/science.1084920

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We report the use of genetically engineered cells in a pathogen identification sensor. This sensor uses B lymphocytes that have been engineered to emit light within seconds of exposure to specific bacteria and viruses. We demonstrated rapid screening of relevant samples and identification of a variety of pathogens at very low levels. Because of its speed, sensitivity, and specificity, this pathogen identification technology could prove useful for medical diagnostics, biowarfare defense, food- and water-quality monitoring, and other applications.

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