Professor Larry Wackett presented "Biochemical Bloodhounds: Using Enzymes to Detect Toxins."
Biochemical Bloodhounds: Using Enzymes to Detect Toxins
How can we detect food contaminants before they do harm? Deliberate doctoring of milk with melamine to provide misleadingly high protein content measurements sickened 300,000 infants and children in China in 2008. It also motivated Institute on the Environment founding fellow Larry Wackett to look back to melamine-related research performed in his lab seven years earlier for a potential tool for preventing similar tragedies in the future. As the first speaker in IonE's fall Frontiers in the Environment lecture series, Wackett, distinguished McKnight professor of biochemistry, described how he and colleagues built on that earlier research to create an easy-to-use enzyme-based kit to test for the presence of melamine as well as uncover the biochemical basis for melamine toxicity. Wackett's work resulted in production of a commercialized test kit by Texas-based BIOO Scientific and opens doors to developing similar tests for other contaminants that might accidentally or intentionally be introduced into the food we eat.
If you missed Professor Wackett's talk, or would like to watch it again, click here for a recording of today's presentation.
And be sure to join us for other Frontiers in the Environment and Institute on the Environment events!
Hooked on Halorespiration: How, Where and So What? - Paige Novak
Eight-Track Tapes, Compact Discs and Solar Cells - Eray Aydil
Fuelish Choices: Improving Sustainability of Transportation
Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment schedule
U of M Environmental Events (Environmental Portal)