Microbe ID System - Viral or Bacterial


I could handle the diarrhea, but the excruciating, rip-your-gut-open, bend over and die, pain was beyond my abilities. My mom took me in to a doctor appointment.  She worried about the overuse of antibiotics as I began my prescribed medication.  Eventually, the lab results showed that I had Salmonella. These events got my ExploraVision team thinking.

Penn: University of PennsylvaniaWe researched Mom’s antibiotic concern and discovered that bacteria were pretty adaptive little buggers.  Not only do they overcome some antibiotics, but they also pass this ability on to their offspring.  Emails to research scientists showed that many believed DNA testing would be the future’s identification method of choice.  Current DNA testing takes weeks and a physical sample is needed.  Dr. Paul Liebman’s comment, “confidence comes from just smelling the different odors of different bacterial growth plates,” led us to the idea of developing something that could smell the difference between microbes.  If our nose’s sensory receptor cells detect smells, and then send electrical impulses through our nerves, then electronic sensors should also be able to detect the chemicals given off by microbes.   This information could be recorded as unique electrical print patterns illustrated as 3-D scatter plots.  A computer could identify an unknown pathogen by comparing these “electrical print patterns.”

Our home version of the MID System would eliminate long waits for doctor appointments, and would reduce medical costs, therefore reducing insurance costs.  Unreadable handwritten prescriptions would become obsolete through computer-generated prescriptions emailed directly to a pharmacy and authenticated with the doctor’s thumbprint. The Microbe ID System would save time, money, and lives.