10-minute test for Escherichia coli bug A handheld sensor that can quickly place contamination by deadly strains of the Escherichia coli bug may help prevent infected food reaching consumers. In america alone, 60 people a full year die from E. Coli, while 73,000 are contaminated with pathogenic strains meds . But detecting the bug is usually a slow process that involves removing whole batches of foodstuffs from production lines while cultures are grown or DNA amplified. Tests may take 24 hours or more, says Peter Wareing, a meals safety expert with Leatherhead Food International in Surrey, UK. Now Raj Mutharasan, an engineer at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is rolling out a cheap, quick and simple detector that just about anyone can use.
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