To find and improve upon the innovative technique of LAMP (loop mediated isothermal amplification) molecular technology to rapidly confirm and quantify the presence of chytrid fungi (Bd and Bsal). A “chytrid” is a type of fungus (Phylum Chytridiomycota) and there are approximately 1,000 different chytrid species that live exclusively in water or moist environments. See image for more information on this deadly fungus and it's impact on amphibians. This technology is already in development. I am seeking to bring it to the domestic airport arena. This technology is simple, quick, requires no equipment...and it is sensitive, is qualitative and quantitative. It is perfect for preventing the spread of this fungi around the globe. This testing needs to be perfected and put into implementation. I would work in the U.S. and globally. Testing potential is at airports and at the place of shipment. The toughest part of implementing this project would be first, obtaining a kit (but I know where I can purchase or who I can collaborate with) and second, getting authorization to do testing. As we know, the data obtained in testing these frogs is crucial in coming up with new policies and laws that in the long run will help protect species of amphibians and frogs. Only first in detecting the frogs which are infected can we isolate them and protect others from spread. Secondly, there is hope that infected frogs can be taken to a center where they can be quarantined, treated and released.
The proposed solution is determining what is needed to bring LAMP technology into real-time, real-world use where it is so desperately needed, and quickly! The LAMP assay needs to be taken out of the lab and made to be transportable to areas in the "field" to be used where it is needed. This assay has the ability to be utilized without any electricity and only needs the human eye to be able to read results. For example, the sample needs to be heated but this can be done in non-electrical methods such as a portable cooking kit.
3. Infected frogs will be taken out of the system
4. At first I will come up against people who will not take this project seriously, understand it, etc.
6. There's going to be a lot of frogs and amphibians to test so I will be limited by the number of tests that I am able to procure.
5. Finding a second person to assist me in the initial testing and data gathering will possibly help expedite the time needed to work on the project.
2. People will willingly do testing. Hopefully there is a way to make it mandatory testing prior to any shipment.
1. The shipper will assume the responsibility of the cost. Hoping to, with data support, make it necessary and legally necessary to have this testing done prior to shipment.
I need to get into contact, get working with those involved on developing this procedure and connecting them to the right conservation people to get this technology implemented and serving us. The second biggest barrier is connecting to the right people at the airport in order to get the testing set up there, to get permission, space and cooperation.
Locating more airports to possibly perform testing (I know of one major one and I am aware of which ones do not import). Obtaining testing. Obtaining permission to perform testing. Once this is all done, a schedule can be created to actually start the official data collection!
Scientific journal access is the most valuable key in the near three months time. Testing supplies. Contacts at airports.