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Shedding light on golden staph

Shedding light on golden staph

Bacterial cells of S. aureus.

Full article issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.

A ground-breaking new technique developed by researchers at the Macquarie University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) will slash the time it takes to detect a golden staph infection, from two days to just two hours. 

Golden staph, or Staphylococcus aureus, lives on the skin or in the nose. It is usually harmless, but if it enters the skin through a cut it can cause a range of infections, which in some cases are fatal.

The researchers targeted the bacterium with a luminescent DNA probe, allowing them to find the 'needle in the haystack' because only the 'needle' lights up. The new approach, known as Time-Gated Luminescent in Situ Hybridization (or LISH), takes just two hours and could have a range of other applications. While it cannot yet separately identify drug resistance strains of golden staph, researchers say that they are working on it.



Image: Bacterial cells of Staphylococcus aureus. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

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