Monthly Archives: June 2020

Using synthetic, DNA-barcoded microbes to track food contamination.

a study from researchers at Harvard Medical School develops and tests a synthetic microbial system capable of determining the origin of objects, with a view to identifying sources of foodborne illnesses. The team states their DNA-barcoded spores are incapable of growing in the wild, are derived from safe microbe strains, and can be sprayed onto goods such as crops or manufactured products to be detected months to years later.

Every year, a staggering 48 million people in the USA alone will suffer from foodborne illnesses, resulting in approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. This public health epidemic is exacerbated by the economic damage running into billions of dollars caused by product recalls, highlighting the need to rapidly and accurately determine the sources of foodborne illnesses. Due to the ever-increasing

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