About This Project
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What is the context of this research?
The goal of this project is to develop a rapid and sensitive biosensor for early detection of pathogens. We have a basic design already, and work has already begun on the first phase of our project. The biosensor will consist of two parts. The first part is an adaptor that is engineered for one specific pathogen (e.g. E. coli). The adaptor would detect its pathogen and send out a weak signal. Each different variety of pathogen would require a different adaptor, but every adaptor would send out the same signal. The second part is a universal self-amplified biosensor. This part would be capable of detecting the weak signal from any adaptor, and would rapidly amplify the signal to detectable levels. The goal is for this design to allow for early detection of a variety of pathogens much faster than current methods and technologies allow.
What is the significance of this project?
We've all heard about recent foodborne pathogen outbreaks from E. coli and Salmonella. We also know about infectious diseases like meningitis that become deadly because they are not caught in time. The most commonly used culturing techniques for detection and diagnosis of many pathogens takes 24-48 hours or more. These tests are not sensitive enough or not rapid enough to be fully effective. We have come up with a culture-independent design that could work for rapid and sensitive detection, and this design could be adapted to any bacterial pathogen.
What are the goals of the project?
This research is already partially funded by Clemson University Creative Inquiry and the Clemson University Biological Sciences Department. Funding will be used to purchase basic lab supplies (cloning enzymes, PCR reagents, petri dishes, etc.) for undergraduate researchers to create and test our design for a universal self-amplified biosensor.
Our budget will be used to purchase basic lab supplies. No part of the funding will be used for equipment or travel expenses.
Meet the Team
Team BioAaron Brown is the graduate advisor for the Clemson iGEM team. The Clemson iGEM team is an undergraduate student team that competes at the iGEM competition every year.
Aaron Brown is the graduate advisor for the Clemson iGEM team. The Clemson iGEM team is an undergraduate student team that competes at the iGEM competition every year.
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