May 23, 2012

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog is constantly amazed at the creative genius and push to conquer disease that drives humans to invent new ways to detect, analyze and cure so many illness that have in the past killed millions of people and pets. Every time we read of an advance that gives us an advantage in the fight against one of these monsters, the White Dog Army howls in victory and high paws the news.

And to us, NO advance is more wonderful than one which might one day help put an end to cancer! We woo thanks to these researchers and wish them success in pushing the limits in detecting disease. Imagine the possibilities in places decimated by natural disaster or during an outbreak of widespread salmonella… and give yourself over to a moment of pure hope that thousands could be saved. Please share in the wonder of this amazing technology:

Researchers Invent Device to Rapidly Detect Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases can spread very rapidly, so quickly identifying them can be crucial to stopping an epidemic - However, current testing for such diseases can take hours and days. But not for much longer

Infectious diseases can spread very rapidly, so quickly identifying them can be crucial to stopping an epidemic. However, current testing for such diseases can take hours and days. But not for much longer.

Jayne Wu, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Shigetoshi Eda, associate professor of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at the UT Institute of Agriculture Center for Wildlife Health, have developed a portable device that can be used onsite to detect infectious diseases, pathogens as well as physiological conditions in people and animals.

"Time is of the essence in treating infectious diseases," said Wu. "This device has the potential to save a lot of lives by saving time in detection. It also saves a lot of money as it is cheaper to detect diseases than the system that is currently being used since we do not have to send them to a lab and have the sample be scrutinized by technicians."

The device can be used by any health care professional, anywhere. All that's needed is a droplet of blood to place on a microchip within the device. The microchip is treated with disease-specific antigens—a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body—and captures disease-specific antibodies in the blood. If the antigens and antibodies match, then the device tells the health care provider that the patient or animal is infected. This happens in a matter of minutes. So far the device has been used to detect tuberculosis in humans and wild animals, as well as Johne's disease in cattle.

"Johne's disease is highly prevalent in this country and is causing more than $200 million of annual losses to the U.S. dairy industry," said Eda. "Since there is no practical treatment for the disease, early diagnosis is critically important for disease control in dairy farms. This, in turn, helps farmers' business and the milk supply."

The scientists say they expect the device to be expanded to detect various diseases and physiological conditions. For instance, the researchers predict it could be useful in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Their recent development indicated the device could detect pathogens in food materials. The device also could be valuable for applications in disaster relief, biodefense or disease outbreaks.

Wu and Eda recently received $15,000 from the UT Research Foundation to assist in further developing their technology to improve its positioning for licensing and commercialization. The scientists say they have industry interested in taking their invention to market.


Nola said...

Wow! That's great!
Dachshund Nola

meowmeowmans said...

Amazing stuff! We are thankful whenever we see researchers working to find solutions to real-world problems. :)

Mr. Pip said...

Wow, that's pretty amazing to think something could detect such a wide variety of illnesses - and food pathogens, too!

Your pal, Pip

Suka said...

hey WDA,

Very cool! Thanks for sharing!


Jeanne Pursell said...

Very interesting and amazing! Thanks for sharing this with us!! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Teddy Bear said...

That is amazing!!!

Teddy Bear & Sierra

Brian said...

Go humans go!

Random Felines said...

Yeah!!! we love that people are trying to make the world a better place...

Remington said...


Sagira said...

That is so great. One of these days we will be able to fight everything. :)