RealNews

Researchers working to guard water supply

Kent State, NEOUCOM using $796,520 grant to build device that detects bacteria or viruses. Detecting a bioterrorist attack on the nation’s water supply could take several hours, if not days, and require highly trained technicians and equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Local researchers, however, are pretty sure they can whittle that wait down to minutes, with easy-to-use, hand-held devices costing a few thousand dollars. With a $796,520 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the researchers at Kent State University and the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) are using liquid-crystal technology — best known for putting numbers on digital watches or images on computer screens — to detect bacteria or viruses such as anthrax, plague, botulism and smallpox. “What we’re really doing now is taking that concept, that idea, and putting the nuts and bolts around it,” said Gary Niehaus, an associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at NEOUCOM. “Ideally, we’re looking at detection within five minutes. That’s what our goal is. And we would be happy with 15 minutes, but that’s the range we’re looking at.” Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.