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Fighting Listeria and Other Food-Borne Illnesses With Nanobiotechnology

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Scientist at the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies and the Rensselaer Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for the Directed Assembly of Nanostructures have created a coating that can selectively kill the bacteria Listeria, a causative agent of food borne illness. The coating consists of cell lytic enzymes attached to food-safe silica nanoparticles. This coating can kill the Listeria bacteria on contact without affecting other bacteria because the lytic enzymes are specific to Listeria. These enzymes are produced by phages and break down the cell wall of the Listeria bacteria. This new technology could be applied to other surfaces within the food and medical industry to selectively kill other pathogens. The results from this study can be found in "Enzyme-based Listericidal Nanocomposites," which is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
 
 

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