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National Lab Helps Develop Novel Point-of-Care Instruments

Narrator: This is Science Today. As many as 94 thousand Americans were infected last year by a type of staph infection that's resistant to most antibiotics. It's called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA.

Baker: Whenever we want to diagnose and treat the staphylococcus aureus infection, it's important to know if this strain that the patient is carrying is a methicillin-resistant strain, in which case we need to administer a different set of antibiotics.

Narrator: Brian Baker, a research staff member at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is part of a team of engineers and scientists working to develop a point-of-care instrument that can quickly detect five fungal and bacterial pathogens, including MRSA.

Baker: Our primary goal is to develop an evidence-based tool for a clinician to be able to rapidly decide the best course of treatment for a patient; to minimize harmful side effects and also to target the exact organism that's causing the infection.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.