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Molecular Detection of Pathogens in Environmental and Clinical Samples

As a method for detecting microorganisms in samples, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is fast, sensitive, and specific. However, it is unable to distinguish viable pathogen cells from dead cells and free nucleic acid fragments. This project has shown that PCR tests for ribosomal RNA precursors (pre-rRNA) can overcome this problem. Primary collaborators include a Seattle-based commercial licensee, AttoDx, Inc., and sample collection is occurring in multiple global sites