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Carlsbad Firm Plays Role in Detecting New Deadly E. Coli Strain

A Carlsbad firm helped identify the new strain of E. Coli that’s the source of a deadly outbreak in Europe.

Life Technologies’ new Ion machine enabled Chinese and German researchers to create a genetic sequence identifying the new E. Coli bacterium in just three hours. Older devices have taken days to identify genetic sequences. Mark Gardner of Life Technologies said speed is crucial in public health crises.

“Especially when you are dealing with infectious diseases and pathogens which can spread very, very rapidly, " Gardner said. "It’s important to get to the source of what is causing the disease as quickly as possible to be able to prevent its spread and detect its outbreak that much faster because lives are at stake.”

So far, the new E. Coli strain has killed nearly 50 people in Europe and infected 3,000.

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