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Brighter future for bacteria detection

Ever wonder why fruits and vegetables sometimes hit the shelves contaminated by pathogenic bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella? According to Tim Lu, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and biological engineering at MIT, it boils down to the inefficient bacteria-detection assays used in the food industry. In some cases, these aren’t accurate or speedy enough — sometimes taking several days to catch contaminated produce. But now Lu’s startup, Sample6, is commercializing an advanced assay platform that “lights up” pathogenic bacteria for quick detection, with the ability to detect only a few bacteria.

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