Cystic Fibrosis: The Lung Ranger Project – Wednesday 8th October 2014, 6pm

shutterstock_176756633 Cystic fibrosis is the most common inherited disease in the UK affecting over 10,000 people in the UK. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, about 1 in 25 of the population in the UK carry a mutation in a gene called CFTR. This gene mutation makes it hard for the body to efficiently fight off infection by bacteria, particularly in the lungs. Currently, it takes 2-3 days to identify pathogens in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

The iGEM team from the University of Dundee focussed on producing a device that detected chemical signatures produced by the most serious bacterial infections. Such a device would increase the speed with which infection could be diagnosed, potentially cutting waiting times from days to just one hour. This rapid diagnosis of infection status would also allow faster and more targeted antibiotic treatment, improving the lives and care of patients.