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04-13-06, 02:21 PM #1
Anyone ever heard of this?
For years cops have been able to determine in a matter of seconds just how boozy you are. Any good lawyer will tell you to refuse the to take a breathalyzer, but good judgement is often the first victim of a whiskey bender. Soon cops will be able to subject you to a similar roadside test for cocaine use.
A DNA molecule that reacts to the presence of coke is law enforcement's latest weapon in the hopeless war on drugs. The synthetic aptamer DNA is typically floppy, but when it encounters coke, it stiffens and folds over. It can detect small traces of coke in saliva or blood, according to biochemist Kevin Plaxco of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Cops have been testing for coke using the Scott test for years. But the Scott test was recently shown to inaccurate. It can be fooled by chemical masking agents that coke dealers often mix into their blow to thwart detection.
The new cocaine-a-lyzer's sensor is only a 1-millimeter square electrode coated with 100 million coke-sniffing pieces of DNA. It can be washed and reused immediately up to 100 times.
"We wash it with a cocaine-free buffer and it resets in seconds," said Plaxco.
Be warned, they're working on making the test even more sensitive and are looking towards developing new DNA strands that detect other drugs.
04-13-06, 05:40 PM #2
Sounds like BS to meNo one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
"The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".
We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.
04-14-06, 12:28 AM #3
The device she is holding is PBT device not anything for cocaine.Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.
Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.
May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)
The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS only.
04-14-06, 12:58 AM #4
I have one....it's pictured as my avatar!K-9 When the door pops...The bullshit stops!
Go ahead run...I'll even give you a head start!
When the public needs help, they call the Police.
When the Police needs help, they call SWAT.
When SWAT needs help, they call K-9!
Duty not Reward
04-14-06, 01:50 AM #5
Yea, but your "test kit" bites & slobbers
(='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
(")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.
04-14-06, 03:57 AM #6Originally Posted by Virginian"To the German commander: 'Nuts!' The American Commander" - General Tony McAuliffe, 101st Airborne Division
04-14-06, 04:13 AM #7Originally Posted by lepdford
04-14-06, 05:47 AM #8THE five-ohVerified LEO
- Join Date
- Somewhere in Florida
Originally Posted by TXCharlie
- Rep Power
Biting is the fun part.
04-14-06, 08:52 AM #9
A DNA molecule that stiffens and folds when it encounters cocaine is the engine that drives a new handheld, fast-acting drug detector.
Reliable tests for cocaine take several hours at a laboratory. Although police and customs agents have field tests for cocaine, criminals often use masking chemicals to thwart these so-called "Scott tests."
In a Scott test, a chemical changes color when it is added to substances that contain cocaine.
The new detector — scientists have built a rudimentary prototype — sees through the masking agents and can also sense cocaine in body fluids or materials that it comes in contact with.
Detecting tiny traces of cocaine in blood or saliva could someday allow the device to work much like a breathalyzer for alcohol, said biochemist Kevin Plaxco of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
So far the device has sniffed out cocaine mixed with many of the substances drug dealers use to cut the drug, including flour, sugar, baking soda, coffee and mustard powder.
It also sees through such chemical masking agents as cobaltous thiocyanate, which sophisticated drug dealers mix into cocaine to fool the Scott test.
The detector works by passing an electronic signal through a type of DNA molecule, called an aptamer, that binds with other specific molecules, in this case cocaine.
This particular type of aptamer, which is synthetic, is usually floppy. When it binds with cocaine, however, it stiffens up and assumes a structured, folded shape, which makes it let electrons pass through it more easily.
The drug detector's engine is a 1-millimeter square electrode that is coated with about 100 million of the cocaine-friendly molecules. After each test, this electrode can be rinsed and reused with a loss in sensitivity of just 1 percent.
That means an electrode could be used perhaps 100 times before it would have to be replaced. It also can be used immediately after washing, a key feature for a portable tester, Plaxco says.
"We wash it with a cocaine-free buffer and it resets in seconds," he said.
Now the scientists are improving the detector's sensitivity to cocaine, Plaxco said. One route is to make aptamer molecules that are even more receptive to cocaine.
"If the DNA molecule binds cocaine more tightly, then it will take less cocaine to cause the folding," he explained.
They are also refining the device's electronic system to detect smaller changes in electrical current, and so smaller amounts of cocaine.
By using different aptamer DNA molecules that favor other substances, the same technology could be expanded to find other drugs, both the illicit type and the therapeutic variety whose levels must be closely monitored in patients.
"We're monitoring a very specific binding-induced change in the DNA itself. And that's why our sensor works straight in blood serum," Plaxco said. "That's the real advantage. Other people have built-in biosensors that are just as sensitive as ours. Other people have built-in biosensors using aptamers even, that are just as generalizable as ours. Ours has both of those attributes and it works in blood, and dirt, and food. That's the huge advance."
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