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Hijacking bacteria's natural defences to trap and reveal pathogens

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Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell’s own defences against them.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham and GSK Consumer Healthcare have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the normal processes of pathogens, thus revealing their location.

And by using fluorescent markers to tag these cells, they have even been able to detect them by using a simple mobile phone camera.

The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Materials, could offer an easier way of detecting pathogenic bacteria outside of a clinical setting and could be particularly important for the developing world, where access to more sophisticated laboratory techniques is often limited.

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