In Australia, a new dipstick technology that enables pathogen detection and the rapid diagnosis of human, animal and plant disease in even the most remote locations has been developed by University of Queensland scientists.
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences researcher Professor Jimmy Botella said the technology could extract DNA and RNA from living organisms in as little as 30 seconds without specialized equipment or personnel. “We have successfully used the dipsticks in remote plantations in Papua New Guinea to diagnose sick trees, and have applied it to livestock, human samples, pathogens in food, and in detecting environmental risks such as E. coli-contaminated water,” he said.
The team developed the dipstick technology for particular plants and later found it could purify DNA from many agriculturally important species. UQ’s commercialization company, UniQuest, filed a patent application on the dipstick technology and is seeking commercial partners to help make it broadly available.