facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

New ricin detection test is developed

April 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, April 13 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they have developed a highly sensitive test that can accurately detect and quantify the presence of ricin, a potent bioterrorism toxin.

Researchers at Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, led by Professor Vern Schramm, said the protein -- in the form of a powder, mist, pellet or solution -- can be injected or inhaled, As little as one-half milligram of ricin is lethal to humans. No antidote is available.

The new assay can detect small amounts of ricin more accurately and faster than before. Users would place samples of potentially adulterated food or swabs used to wipe potentially contaminated surfaces into a few drops of a mixture of reagents. That mixture will emit light if ricin is present, with higher luminescence indicating greater concentrations of the toxin.

"In retrospect," said Schramm, "like many scientific advances, it's such a simple idea that I'm surprised it wasn't thought of earlier."

Schramm said he believes the assay's most immediate application is for discovering drugs that could serve as antidotes for ricin poisoning.

The study is reported in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth
2
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
3
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
4
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
5
Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback