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Bio-Medical Technologies

The University of Idaho Department of Biological Sciences houses several top-rated research facilities, institutes and centers on the Moscow campus. The department has access to university computers via the campus network. Students primarily use personal laptops. Wireless access is offered in Gibb Hall and the Life Sciences South buildings. The Office of Technology Transfer facilitates the licensing and distribution of agricultural technologies to support the development of agribusiness in Idaho and worldwide.

OTT Case 19-020 | Patent Pending

The invention combines Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) and Airy beam Light Sheet Imaging (LSI) onto a standard inverted microscope. This microscope design integrates the two modalities without any disruptions in their respective optical paths. Preliminary test results indicate a compatibility of the integrative design with microfluidics in a representative investigation of the effects of cellular noise on metabolic compartmentalization. The use of microfluidics critically alleviates some of the stringent culture and sample preparation techniques required by most LSI and Lattice LSI configurations. The design is inherently compatible with most QPI methods, such as holographic tomography.

OTT Case 19-010 | Patent Pending

The current emergence of drug-resistant fungal pathogens and the cytotoxic side effects of existing antifungal therapeutics pose a challenge to reducing mortality rates of invasive fungal diseases. “Killer yeasts” can inhibit the growth of fungal pathogens by producing protein fungicides called “killer toxins.”

Killer toxin production by the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is most often dependent on infection by mycoviruses and the presence of cytoplasmic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) satellites. It was hypothesized that dsRNAs isolated from S. cerevisiae would be a source of novel antifungal proteins that are biologically active against human pathogenic fungi.

Strains of Saccharomyces yeasts were screened for production of killer toxins using in vitro agar plate-based assays. A subset of the killer yeasts identified were found to be biologically active against human-pathogenic yeasts. A screening of this subset of killer yeasts against C. glabrata revealed that the killer toxins K1 and K2 expressing yeasts were broadly antifungal to all 26 clinical strains of C. glabrata provided by the Center of Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration Antimicrobial Resistance Isolate Bank and 27 environmental and clinical strains provided by the Agricultural Research Service Culture Collection (Northern Regional Research Laboratory). Importantly, killer yeasts are effective at inhibiting the growth of clinically isolated C. glabrata that have a resistance to common therapeutic antifungal drugs including azoles, echinocandins, and flucytosine.