Synthetic microbial system developed to find objects’ origin

Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 16:10 in Health & Medicine

Every year, an estimated 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses, resulting in some 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This public health problem is compounded by billions in economic damage from product recalls, highlighting the need to rapidly and accurately determine the sources of foodborne illnesses. With the increasing complexity of global supply chains for the myriad foods available to consumers, however, the task of tracing the exact origin of contaminated items can be difficult. In a novel solution that can help determine the origin of agricultural products and other goods, Harvard Medical School (HMS) scientists have developed a DNA-barcoded microbial system that can be used to label objects in an inexpensive, scalable and reliable manner. A flask of DNA-barcoded spores. Photos courtesy of Jason Qian Reporting in Science on June 4, the research team describes how synthetic microbial spores can be safely...

Read the whole article on Harvard Science

More from Harvard Science

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net