Engineering student develops early detection methods for E. coli bacteria

January 23, 2014 by Karen Wentworth
Engineering student develops early detection methods for E. coli bacteria
UNM biomedical engineering graduate student Loreen Lamoureaux works on samples in the lab.

Loreen Lamoureaux, a University of New Mexico biomedical engineering graduate student, is working on ways to quickly detect Escherichia coli or E. coli bacteria in meat before it reaches the consumer. Lamoureaux is one of dozens of collaborators working on a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to find ways to detect the bacteria as early as possible in the food chain. 

Currently, it can take several days to detect bacteria in meat. Lamoureaux and her collaborators are working on a way to make the detection process much faster. Her work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with Harshini Mukundan, and at UNM with Professor Steven Graves at the Center for Biomedical Engineering, focuses on ways to detect Shiga toxins and other important markers of the bacteria. She has purified and developed assays for a key biomarker as well as used biophysical methods to characterize the molecular interactions of the biomarkers with cell membranes.

"If we are able to detect E. coli very early on in the beef chair for example, in cows that are in the pasture or in beef samples from the slaughterhouse, we can prevent further contamination down the line, thereby mitigating the effect of mass recalls and illness," Lamoureaux said. 

Loreen Lamoureaux, a University of New Mexico graduate student, is working on ways to quickly detect Escherichia coli or E. coli bacteria in meat before it reaches the consumer. Lamoureaux is one of dozens of collaborators working on a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to find ways to detect the bacteria as early as possible in the food chain. 

Currently, it can take several days to detect bacteria in meat. Lamoureaux and her collaborators are working on a way to make the detection process much faster. Her work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with Harshini Mukundan, and at UNM with Professor Steven Graves at the Center for Biomedical Engineering, focuses on ways to detect Shiga toxins and other important markers of the . She has purified and developed assays for a key biomarker as well as used biophysical methods to characterize the molecular interactions of the biomarkers with cell membranes.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

"If we are able to detect E. coli very early on in the beef chair for example, in cows that are in the pasture or in beef samples from the slaughterhouse, we can prevent further contamination down the line, thereby mitigating the effect of mass recalls and illness," Lamoureaux said. 

Explore further: Magnetic nanoparticles detect and remove harmful bacteria

Related Stories

Magnetic nanoparticles detect and remove harmful bacteria

November 19, 2007

Researchers in Ohio report the development of magnetic nanoparticles that show promise for quickly detecting and eliminating E. coli, anthrax, and other harmful bacteria. In laboratory studies, the nanoparticles helped detect ...

Researchers find bad bacteria reducer

October 3, 2013

A substance linked to mood enhancement could be a key to combating bacteria that can cause a serious foodborne illness, NDSU researchers say.

Recommended for you

New polymer able to store energy at higher temperatures

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers at the Pennsylvania State University has created a new polymer that is able to store energy at higher temperatures than conventional polymers without breaking down. In their paper published ...

Findings illuminate animal evolution in protein function

July 27, 2015

Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond researchers recently teamed up to explore the inner workings of cells and shed light on the 400–600 million years of evolution between humans and early animals ...

How to look for a few good catalysts

July 30, 2015

Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how liquids spread across a surface.

Yarn from slaughterhouse waste

July 29, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibers. Now they are working on making the yarn even more water resistant.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.