Scientists at the University of California San Diego, along with colleagues in Australia, engineered bacteria capable of detecting the presence of tumor DNA in a live organism.
Previously, bacteria could perform diagnostic and therapeutic functions, according to the UC San Diego website. However, they lacked the ability to identify specific DNA sequences and mutations outside of cells.
The researchers say this innovation could create a pathway to new biosensors capable of identifying various infections, cancers and diseases. This “Cellular Assay for Targeted CRISPR-discriminated Horizontal gene transfer,” or “CATCH,” demonstrated success in detecting cancer in the colons of mice.
“As we started on this project four years ago, we weren’t even sure if using b…