Hijacking bacteria’s natural defences to trap and reveal pathogens

Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell’s own defenses against them. Scientists have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the normal processes of pathogens, thus revealing their location. And by using fluorescent markers to tag these cells, they have even been able to detect them by using a simple mobile phone camera.(10.1038/nmat3949)

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Author: Robert Slinn

Robert Slinn is ChemSpy's guest columnist. You can read his chemical news updates under the banner "Slinn Pickings". Robert is a Chartered Chemist (CChem), Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and is a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. He has extensive experience in R&D: synthesis, analysis and analytical methods development; troubleshooting, consultancy, and teaching/training methods in industry and in academia. Robert is also 'Physical Methods' author for the Specialist Periodical Report series 'Organophosphorus Chemistry', published by Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK. Robert has worked alongside David on the Bedside Book of Chemistry and a major Thomson-Reuters report on the state of the pharmaceutical industry for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry