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Bassindale T.A.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd | Berezowski R.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

Benzylpiperazine (BZP) is an amphetamine-type stimulant, which was legally available in New Zealand and widely used in "Party Pills" until reclassification as a Class C drug in April 2008. BZP was included as part of a multi-analyte method developed for hair screening using high-performance liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A 20-mg sample of hair is extracted and partially purified using mixed-mode solid-phase extraction cartridges prior to analysis by LC-MS/MS. The method was developed as a broad screen for drugs of abuse (including amphetamines, opiates, and benzodiazepines), with only the BZP results being presented here. The assay was validated and found to be linear over the range of 0.085 to 8.65 ng/mg with correlation coefficient of r 2∈≥∈0.99. Blank hair samples spiked with BZP at 0.22 and 2.16 ng/mg gave intra- and inter-day precision coefficients of variation of ≤10% (n∈=∈6 per day, 3 days) at both levels and calculated extraction efficiencies of 78% and 91%, respectively. The results from the samples submitted to the laboratory for BZP analysis showed 11% were positive (n∈=∈126). The mean BZP level was 3.9 ng/mg (range, 0.4-33 ng/mg; the result was extrapolated when above the calibration). These data are the first available showing the levels expected from users of BZP. [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Wolf S.,TU Dresden | Hewitt J.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. | Greening G.E.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

Human and animal fecal pollution of the environment presents a risk to human health because of the presence of pathogenic viruses and bacteria. To distinguish between human and animal sources of pollution, vre designed specific real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assays for human and animal enteric viruses, including norovirus genogroups I, II, and III; porcine adenovirus types 3 and S; ovine adenovirus; atadenovirus; and human adenovirus species C and F, which are excreted by Infected humans, pigs, cattle, sheep, deer, and goats, and for the detection of F+ RNA bacteriophage genogroups I to IV, which are associated with human and animal wastes. The sensitivity of this viral toolbox (VTB) was tested against 10-fold dilution series of DNA plasmids that carry the target sequences of the respective viruses and was shown to detect at least 10 plasmid copies for each assay. A panel of human and animal enteric and respiratory viruses showed these assays to be highly sensitive and specific to their respective targets. The VTB was used to detect viruses in fecal and environmental samples, including raw sewage and biosolids from municipal sewage treatment plants, abattoir sewage, and fecally contaminated shellfish and river water, which were likely to contain animal or human viruses. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Bowden A.,University of Auckland | Fleming R.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd | Harbison S.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2011

The use of messenger RNA profiling to identify the origin of biological samples (e.g. blood, semen and saliva) from crime scenes is now at the stage of being implemented into routine forensic casework. We report on the successful modification of the Promega DNA IQ™ system to enable co-extraction of DNA and RNA from the same sample without compromising the potential DNA profile. Using the protocol in our laboratory for extracting DNA using the DNA IQ™ system combined with the Zymo Research Mini RNA Isolation Kit™ II we demonstrate the simultaneous co-extraction of DNA and RNA from the same sample for routine DNA and mRNA profiling for the identification of both the individual and the biological stain. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Brennan K.A.,Victoria University of Wellington | Laugesen M.,Health New Zealand Ltd | Truman P.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2014

Smoking tobacco is highly addictive and a leading preventable cause of death. The main addictive constituent is nicoti≠ consequently it has been administered to laboratory animals to model tobacco dependence. Despite extensive use, this model might not best reflect the powerful nature of tobacco dependence because nicotine is a weak reinforcer, the pharmacology of smoke is complex and non-pharmacological factors have a critical role. These limitations have led researchers to expose animals to smoke via the inhalative route, or to administer aqueous smoke extracts to produce more representative models. The aim was to review the findings from molecular/behavioural studies comparing the effects of nicotine to tobacco/smoke extracts to determine whether the extracts produce a distinct model. Indeed, nicotine and tobacco extracts yielded differential effects, supporting the initiative to use extracts as a complement to nicotine. Of the behavioural tests, intravenous self-administration experiments most clearly revealed behavioural differences between nicotine and extracts. Thus, future applications for use of this behavioural model were proposed that could offer new insights into tobacco dependence. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Fleming R.I.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. | Harbison S.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd.
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2010

With current methodology, DNA profiling can identify an individual from a sample of biological material but it does not reveal what body fluid or tissue source the DNA profile originated from. We have developed a multiplex PCR system using messenger RNA (mRNA) that can identify blood, saliva, semen and menstrual blood in individual stains or in mixtures of body fluids. Messenger RNA transcripts specific to each type of body fluid have been identified and a multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) system developed to identify these body fluids along with three housekeeping genes. This multiplex can detect semen and seminal fluid (semen without spermatozoa present). Furthermore, we have targeted the co-isolation of RNA and DNA from the same sample and, with the RT-PCR multiplex, we can determine the type of body fluid present as well as generate a DNA profile(s) from the same stain. © 2009 SallyAnn Harbison.

Cressey P.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd
Journal of Public Health Dentistry | Year: 2010

Objective: A survey of the fluoride content of infant and toddler formulae available on the New Zealand market was conducted. Results were used to estimate the dietary fluoride intake for a fully formula-fed infant. Methods: Infant and toddler formulae were prepared according to manufacturers' instructions with fluoride-free water and analyzed for fluoride by a modification of the microdiffusion method of Taves. A proportion of samples were reanalyzed after reconstitution with water at fluoride concentrations of 0.7 and 1.0 mg/L. A stochastic model was used to estimate dietary fluoride intake. Results: The mean fluoride content of prepared infant formulae was 0.069 mg/L. When formulae were prepared with water of differing fluoride concentrations, the fluoride concentration was found to be a simple linear function of water fluoride concentration. Estimates of dietary fluoride intake for infants consuming formulae prepared with fluoride-free water were well below the upper level of intake (UL) for New Zealand and Australia (0.7 mg/day). At water fluoride concentrations of 0.7 and 1.0 mg/L the UL would be exceeded 30 and 93 percent of the time, respectively. Conclusions: The fluoride content of water used to reconstitute infant formulae has a greater impact on fluoride intake of fully formula-fed infants than the fluoride content of the powdered infant formulae. Infants fully formula-fed on formulae prepared with optimally fluoridated water (0.7-1.0 mg/L) have a high probability of exceeding the UL for fluoride and are at increased risk of dental fluorosis. © 2010 American Association of Public Health Dentistry.

Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd | Date: 2016-01-28

The present disclosure relates to a system and method for visualizing and interacting with a three-dimensional scene according to one or more aspects of the disclosure. In some examples, a user may visualize a scene or any other environment representing three-dimensional data to allow for inspection, annotation, etc. of the scene in order to facilitate understanding of one or more events that occurred at the scene. The scene can also include the scene of an accident, building development, film set or location, or any other type of three-dimensional visualization of a real life scene.


The invention relates to a method for detecting RNA sequences. The invention also relates to nucleotide sequences, primers, probes and microarrays.

Fleming R.I.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. | Harbison S.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd.
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2010

We have used the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region for identifying vaginal specific bacteria. Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus gasseri were detected in vaginal secretions but not in semen, blood or saliva. Our data indicated that both L. crispatus and L. gasseri were detected in vaginal secretions from women with different levels of expression of hormonal genes including pregnant, pre- and post-menopausal women, and a woman who has had a hysterectomy. Therefore, we have demonstrated that these Lactobacilli are promising new markers for the forensic identification of vaginal secretions. We have incorporated the Lactobacilli markers into a mRNA multiplex system to produce an 11-plex assay that can identify circulatory blood, menstrual blood, saliva, semen (in the presence and absence of spermatozoa) and vaginal secretions. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-5-02 | Award Amount: 3.03M | Year: 2008

The SYMBIOSIS-EU project will bring together 14 partners from 6 EU countries (plus one each from NZ and US) to study meat safety & quality. The overall aim is to identify and quantitatively evaluate practical and easy to use chemical, biochemical and molecular indices and establish their applicability as quality monitors for inspection of meat safety and quality. The project will apply a multidisciplinary system-wide approach relying on converging technologies (bioinformatics, nanotechnology, modelling) to obtain knowledge for meat safety that will be translated into simple devices and practical indicators of quality and safety. The main objectives are (i) to develop and/or validate easy to use chemical/biochemical methods (e.g. biosensors, fluorescence, FT-IR), molecular methods (DNA microarrays), (ii) to develop a suitable software platform for data sharing and integration, (iii) to apply multivariate statistical methods and machine learning (neural networks, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms) to identify robust multiple compound quality indices, (iv) integration of the sensors and information platform and development of a system to automatically transform data acquired from a sample into a diagnosis of meat safety and quality. The project plan designed to meet these objectives comprises 3 Sections: 1 Microbial status and their major metabolomic, molecular profiling of spoilage bacteria, 2. Development of an easy to use integrated system to monitor meat safety and quality 3. Development of protocols for simple, effective and cheap evaluation of meat quality and safety in industry, based on new indices of quality and safety relying on detection of metabolites by simple sensors, driven by user friendly software that facilitates practical use of the developed methods. The project will be of benefit to the EU meat industry, providing useful tools and fundamental knowledge of the spoilage and hazard. It will also impact on the research and informatics communities.

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