Agilent and FDA Collaborate to Improve Testing for Salmonella
News Mar 21, 2012
Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop new tools to detect and analyze pathogens in food.
The joint R&D effort will also seek to improve DNA-based tools for confirming that seafood is correctly labeled.
The goal of the first part of the project is to develop a novel assay panel to identify subtypes of salmonella in food.
When outbreaks occur, knowing the subtype can help officials quickly identify the source of the pathogen and hopefully limit the number of victims.
The research will focus on using mass spectrometry-based genotyping to quickly identify salmonella subtypes.
“This effort on the part of Agilent is of extraordinary importance to the FDA,” said Eric W. Brown, Ph.D, director, Division of Microbiology, FDA. “We expect this collaboration will be an important step in the development of new and specific tools for tracking bacterial pathogens in foods.”
The second part of the agreement - to be carried out in collaboration with both the FDA and the Campden BRI laboratory in the United Kingdom - aims to update Agilent’s lab-on-a-chip method of DNA analysis to identify fish species.
Agilent’s analytical technique can identify species even after the fish has been processed, which generally removes identifying features such as the head, tail and skin.
The technology is based on the Agilent Bioanalyzer, using restriction fragment length polymorphism.
The goal is to make this technology fast, inexpensive and simple enough that many kinds of laboratories can use it on a routine basis.
This type of test could detect such things as intentional mislabeling to avoid tariffs and import restrictions or economic fraud where a less expensive species of fish is sold as a more costly species.
“We’re very pleased to be collaborating with the FDA, because this work holds tremendous potential for solving some very challenging threats to the safety and integrity of the food supply,” said Paul Zavitsanos, Agilent Global Food Safety manager.
Zavitsanos continued, “There’s real value in applying biological analysis techniques to food safety, and this collaboration advances our shared vision.”
Arrow Poison Potential Male Birth ControlNews
Women have many options for oral contraceptives that are safe, effective and reversible, but despite decades of research, men have none. Now, scientists report a rat study that shows they finally have a good lead for a male birth control pill. It's based on ouabain, a plant extract that African warriors and hunters traditionally used as a heart-stopping poison on their arrows.READ MORE
The BuzzBuster: Could Gene Silencing Help Silence the Housefly?News
Gene silencing dsRNA technology can reduce housefly fertility, showing promise as a pest-control method.READ MORE
Researchers Zoom in on DNA Code Being Read in CellsNews
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted – revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life. The mechanism for reading DNA and decoding it to build proteins for their needs is common to all animals and plants, and is often hijacked by cancer. The discovery of exactly how the molecular mechanism works, could open up new approaches to cancer treatment.READ MORE