Our most recent paper, “Cell-free biosensors for rapid detection of water contaminants,” is now published in Nature Biotechnology! This work has also been featured in Northwestern Now!
In this paper, Lucks lab members Kirsten, Khalid, and Matt developed a novel biosensing platform called ROSALIND (RNA Output Sensors Activated by Ligand Induction). ROSALIND is an in vitro transcription-only platform for the detection of water contaminants using allosteric transcription factors. In the presence of the contaminating small molecule or metal, transcription is activated, allowing for synthesis of a fluorescent RNA aptamer. These reactions can be freeze-dried for convenient storage and shipping, which allowed us to deploy metal-sensing ROSALIND reactions on site in Paradise, CA, a town whose water distribution system was affected by the 2018 Camp Fire.
Congratulations to Kirsten, Khalid, Matt, and our collaborators on this publication!