Raising a Red Flag

The humble baker’s yeast used in bread and beer could become a low-cost, simple biosensor for detecting cholera and other diseases, according to new research by Columbia University’s Nili Ostrov and colleagues.

Her prototype uses genetically modified yeast cells that redden when they come into contact with contaminated water. Loaded onto simple test strips, the yeast can analyze soil, urine, blood and water within 3 hours and may cost as little as 1 cent to produce.

“Now that we have the tech figured out, it should be really straightforward to develop new biosensors for new targets,” says team lead Virginia Cornish.

Source: The Atlantic

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