NASA Develops, Licenses Nano-Based Biosensor Technology

NASA announced yesterday it has developed a revolutionary nanotechnology-based biosensor that can detect trace amounts of specific bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Making use of ultra-sensitive carbon nanotubes--millions of which can fit on a single biosensor chip--the sensor can determine the presence and concentration levels of specific microorganisms in samples and be used to help prevent the spread of potentially deadly biohazards in water, food, and other contaminated sources, NASA said.

The administration's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California licensed the biosensor technology to Troy, N.Y.-based Early Warning Inc. under a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement to jointly develop biosensor enhancements. According to NASA, the biosensor initially will be configured to detect the presence of common and rare strains of microorganisms associated with water-borne illnesses and fatalities.

Early Warning company officials said food and beverage companies, water agencies, industrial plants, hospitals, and airlines could use the biosensor to prevent outbreaks of illnesses caused by pathogens--without needing a laboratory or technicians. "Biohazard outbreaks from pathogens and infectious diseases occur every day in the U.S. and throughout the world," said Early Warning President Neil Gordon. "The key to preventing major outbreaks is frequent and comprehensive testing for each suspected pathogen, as most occurrences of pathogens are not detected until after people get sick or die. Biohazards can enter the water supply and food chain from a number of sources which are very difficult to uncover." The company expects to launch its water-testing products late this year.

"Ambitious space missions have produced some of the world's most creative technologies by NASA and its industrial partners," said Harry Partridge, deputy director of the Space Technologies Division at Ames. "Not only does NASA want these technologies used in space applications, an equally important objective is the transition of NASA research into real world products that can benefit our society."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Everything You Need to Know about Incident investigations

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2020

    November December 2020

    Featuring:

    • COLD STRESS
      Managing Cold Stress
    • TRAINING: FALL PROTECTION
      Providing Training for Fall Protection
    • PPE: HEARING PROTECTION
      Eight Tips for Hearing Testing Day
    • FACILITY SECURITY
      Incorporating COVID-19 Protections into Safety Programs
    View This Issue