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Aug 10, 2012

Biothreat Detection in the Palm of Your Hand

  • Luminex won a potentially $11.6 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency to develop a prototype portable diagnostic system capable of use in the field for rapidly detecting infection by biothreat agents and biomarkers indicative of systemic disease. The hand-held system will be able to detect both protein and nucleic acid markers to aid diagnosis of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), which can develop as a result of blood infections in conventional combat and biowarfare.

    “The flexibility and scalability of our multiplexing technology allow for the measurement of RNA, DNA, and proteins with the same system, aiding rapid and accurate diagnosis of these severe conditions,” remarks Amy Altman, Ph.D., vp Luminex Biodefense. “Development of a field-deployable device using our technology has the potential to provide significant advancement in biothreat detection.” 



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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