Geneva, N.Y.-Research being conducted at Hobart and William Smith Colleges will someday expedite the analysis of allergy tests. For the past year, Erin Rutherford, a William Smith senior, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been conducting research that will ultimately allow physicians to analyze allergies within minutes. Today, blood tests take a few days to be returned.
Rutherford presented a poster board presentation of her chemistry research at the Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium held on Thursday, March 29, on the HWS campus. On Friday, April 13, she will give another presentation. This time a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation at 1:30 p.m. in Room 106 of Lansing Hall. The event is open to the public.
Rutherford's research project is titled “Investigation into the Distance Between Combining Sites and Flexibility of the Fab Regions of IgE.” She has been using fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) to measure the relative distance between the antigen combining sites of immunoglobulin class E (IgE). Immunoglobulins, or antibodies, control the body's response to foreign invaders, such as allergens, and, in general are shaped like a AY@. The immunoglobulin IgE is responsible for allergic responses. The combining site, where the allergens bind to pollen, dust, or other molecules, is as the end of the arms of the AY@. Rutherford measured the distance between the two arms of the AY@ by binding a fluorescent molecule to each of the combining sites.
Rutherford is the daughter of Gary Rutherford, Sr., and Susan Leonard.
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