Purdue receives grant to identify pathogens in food

Purdue University has received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support technology that identifies harmful pathogens in food that could be used to prevent a bioterror attack.
The grant, awarded as a seed grant from NIH‘s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will support more than 15 scientists, staff, students, faculty and staff at Purdue, MedicaNewsday.com reports.
The technology will assist homeland security and other officials in a quest to identify food-borne pathogens. By identifying such threats earlier, officials hope to craft better emergency response times across agencies.

Purdue’s innovation utilizes a laser identification system that will identify specific bacteria and viral footprint, MedicaNewsday.com reports. This information is then sent to a national database where it will be referenced against known pathogens.
The bioanalytic technology is similar to an existing application also developed by a Purdue professor. Though initially mandated for identifying contaminants in integrated-circuitry products, its use as a pathogen indicator for food was discovered by another Purdue professor researching his colleague‘s innovation.
Although the research team is based at the Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue University, work will initially be housed at microbiology facility at West Virginia University, MedicaNewsday.com reports.
Purdue University is home to more than this 30,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students. The West Lafayette, Indiana, school is home to Bindley Bioscience Center, a 50,000-square-foot facility that previously received $14.9 million from the National Institutes of Health.

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