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GEN’s editor in chief, John Sterling, interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Researchers have created a new family of fluorescent probes called hydrocyanines that can be used to detect and measure the presence of reactive oxygen species. These species are highly reactive metabolites of oxygen, which have been implicated in a variety of inflammatory diseases including cancer and atherosclerosis.

Details of the hydrocyanine synthesis process and experimental results showing the ability of the dyes to detect reactive oxygen species in cells, tissues, and mouse models were reported on December 8 in the online version of Angewandte Chemie International Edition. This research is supported by the NIH and the NSF.

During this week's podcast, Dr. Niren Murthy explains how his team created the new family of hydrocyanines and what is so special about them. He also discusses the specific advantages these hydrocyanine dyes possess over those currently being used to image reactive oxygen species. Dr. Murthy describes the types of experiments that took place to test the ability of the dyes to detect reactive oxygen species inside cells and animals and lists the results that were achieved.

He also talks about specific applications for these novel probes and reveals the next phase of research his group has planned based on these initial studies.
Niren Murthy, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. As principal investigator of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Molecular Imaging, Murthy leads an interdisciplinary research team fusing chemistry, nanotechnology, material sciences and bioengineering. Before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley from 2001-2003 after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2001. Murthy has been recognized for his research with awards including the 2009 Society for Biomaterials Young Investigator Award and a 2006 National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

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