A team of scientists from McGill University has recently announced that they developed a new technology which can streamline the analysis of proteins, making this process faster and more effective.
Widely regarded as a very good source of information about health, proteins found in blood can help the doctors to detect various conditions such as heart disease or cancer.
New technology will change the way proteins are detected
At the moment, the tools used to analyze the proteins can only handle one protein at a time out of more than 20,000 that can be found in the human’s body. Luckily, a new technology created by PhD candidate Milad Dagher, Professor David Juncker and their coworkers in McGill’s Department of Biomedical Engineering allow detecting hundreds of proteins using just one blood sample.
A part of the scientists’ work, which was published in Nature Nanotechnology, shows a new and refined method to barcode micro-beads using multicolor fluorescent dyes. Also, with the help of a cytometer, a laser-based instrument, the proteins that are sticking to the dissimilar colored beads can be counted. This type of analysis method existed before, but the meddling amongst the multicolor dyes was making it hard for the right colors to be generated. However, thanks to the newly developed algorithm, distinct colors of micro-beads can be generated with high precision.
New hope for the future
The hopes of Professor Juncker’s team are to leverage its new barcoding platform in order to better analyze the proteins. Milad Dagher also explained that the existing technologies that measure only one protein at once are just not good enough anymore, as they make it harder for large studies to take place. A new platform is definitely needed, as the existing ones have limited capabilities.
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.