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Research Results from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Update Knowledge of Forensic Science (14C Analysis of protein extracts from Bacillus...

August 22, 2014

Research Results from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Update Knowledge of Forensic Science (14C Analysis of protein extracts from Bacillus spores)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Investigators discuss new findings in Science. According to news originating from Livermore, California, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Investigators of bioagent incidents or interdicted materials need validated, independent analytical methods that will allow them to distinguish between recently made bioagent samples versus material drawn from the archives of a historical program. Heterotrophic bacteria convert the carbon in their food sources, growth substrate or culture media, into the biomolecules they need."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, "The F(14)C (fraction modern radiocarbon) of a variety of media, Bacillus spores, and separated proteins from Bacillus spores was measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). AMS precisely measures F(14)C values of biological materials and has been used to date the synthesis of biomaterials over the bomb pulse era (1955 to present). The F(14)C of Bacillus spores reflects the radiocarbon content of the media in which they were grown. In a survey of commercial media we found that the F(14)C value indicated that carbon sources for the media were alive within about a year of the date of manufacture and generally of terrestrial origin. Hence, bacteria and their products can be dated using their (14)C signature. Bacillus spore samples were generated onsite with defined media and carbon free purification and also obtained from archived material. Using mechanical lysis and a variety of washes with carbon free acids and bases, contaminant carbon was removed from soluble proteins to enable accurate (14)C bomb-pulse dating."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Since media is contemporary, (14)C bomb-pulse dating of isolated soluble proteins can be used to distinguish between historical archives of bioagents and those produced from recent media."

For more information on this research see: 14C Analysis of protein extracts from Bacillus spores. Forensic Science International, 2014;240():54-60. (Elsevier -; Forensic Science International -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from J.A. Cappuccio, Biosciences & Biotechnology Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551, United States. Additional authors for this research include M.J. Falso, M. Kashgarian and B.A Buchholz (see also Science).

Keywords for this news article include: Science, Livermore, California, United States, North and Central America.

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Source: Science Letter

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