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Frontiers Fall 2010 Kicks off with Larry Wackett's Biochemical Bloodhounds

The room was abuzz with energy about our first Frontiers in the Environment seminar for the fall 2010 semester.

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!

September 29
Hooked on Halorespiration: How, Where and So What? - Paige Novak

October 6
Eight-Track Tapes, Compact Discs and Solar Cells - Eray Aydil

October 13
Fuelish Choices: Improving Sustainability of Transportation

Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment schedule
IonE Events
U of M Environmental Events (Environmental Portal)

  The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and not necessarily
  of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Stephanie Szurek published on September 22, 2010 12:24 PM.

IonE Sponsors BioEnergy Conference (article in MN Daily) was the previous entry in this blog.

Cleantech Open Awards Gala & Expo - October 6 is the next entry in this blog.

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