Toxins like melamine and anthrax don't stand a chance when Scott Russell is on the case.
People get sick because of a host of things, but no one wants to fall ill because the dairy products they eat are tainted with melamine.
That's what happened in 2007 and 2008 when more than 300,000 people in China became sick and six died from melamine-contaminated milk.
And that's something Dr. Scott Russell, an assistant professor of chemistry at CSU Stanislaus, is hoping to avoid. Along with his student researchers, Russell has been developing and refining methods to detect the melamine in whole milk and baby formula. The applications of this research could lead to better and more efficient ways to keep milk products safer for consumption.
Melamine is a compound used to make plastics and pesticides. An oft used and detested practice outside of the United States calls for melamine to be mixed to watered-down milk because it appears to boosts protein levels.
Dr. Russell and students are also working with a model organism very similar to anthrax in the hopes of developing a faster method than current protocols being used to identify if a substance contains anthrax.