Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A New Use for Bee Venom

According to Discover Magazine (Reference: Daniel A. Heller, George W. Pratt, Jingqing Zhang, Nitish Nair, Adam J. Hansborough, Ardemis A. Boghossian, Nigel F. Reuel, Paul W. Barone, and Michael S. Strano. Peptide secondary structure modulates single-walled carbon nanotube fluorescence as a chaperone sensor for nitroaromatics.), a new bomb detector may come from bee venom. A team of researchers from MIT have used fluorescent carbon nanotubes and venom proteins to bind to single molecules of explosives, such as TNT. This causes the tubes to change the wavelength they emit so they change color to become detectable. Right now, the color change is only visible with a specific microscope, so is still more work that needs to be completed before commercial applications are possible.