Russian scientists discover method to use fireflies to detect bacteria
A method was discovered to ensure the sterility of surfaces using an enzyme produced by fireflies.
The firefly, which produces light in the form of bioluminescence, is now a means to detect bacterial contamination, a study by scientists from the Siberian Federal University and the Institute of Biophysics of the Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences discovered.
With ATP (adenosine triphosphoric acid) being the main source of energy for living cells, it is also a crucial component of bioluminescence, produced by fireflies. It has been discovered that the bioluminescence method, a ubiquitous imaging modality for visualizing biological processes in vivo, is to be used for assessing microbial contamination.
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Scientists have recently developed new highly effective microbial contamination sensors that measure bioluminescence, which will aid in controlling sterility in medicine, the food industry, and gastronomy.
This method could lead to significantly reduced costs and aid us to inspect the cleanliness of surfaces in our everyday life. The Russian federal patent-protected technology was tested on several bacteria to prove its effectiveness.
"The stabilized reagent produces a high bioluminescence signal. The higher the signal, the higher the sensitivity of the biosensor and the lower the amount of ATP, and therefore microbes that can be detected. Other advantages of our method are its simplicity and safety," said Elena Esimbekova, a co-author of the study and a candidate in biological sciences.
The method is yet to be used in different scientific fields to see how it can be used in other industries that require a sterile environment, including medicine, pharmaceuticals, and the food industry.
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