Heather D. Bean

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We propose a novel application of secondary electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (SESI-MS) as a real-time clinical diagnostic tool for bacterial infection. It is known that volatile organic compounds (VOCs), produced in different combinations and quantities by bacteria as metabolites, generate characteristic odors for certain bacteria. These VOCs(More)
The identification of bacteria by their volatilomes is of interest to many scientists and clinicians as it holds the promise of diagnosing infections in situ, particularly lung infections via breath analysis. While there are many studies reporting various bacterial volatile biomarkers or fingerprints using in vitro experiments, it has proven difficult to(More)
The problem of beta-nucleoside formation under prebiotic conditions represents one of the most significant challenges to the "RNA world" hypothesis. The possibility exists that alternative bases may have come before the contemporary bases (i.e., A, G, C, and U), including bases that more readily form nucleosides. We previously reported the first successful(More)
Before breath-based diagnostics for lung infections can be implemented in the clinic, it is necessary to understand how the breath volatiles change during the course of infection, and ideally, to identify a core set of breath markers that can be used to diagnose the pathogen at any point during the infection. In the study presented here, we use secondary(More)
Secondary electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (SESI-MS) is a method developed for the rapid detection of volatile compounds, without the need for sample pretreatment. The method was first described by Fenn and colleagues and has been applied to the detection of illicit drugs and explosives, the characterization of skin volatiles, and the analysis of(More)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a nearly ubiquitous Gram-negative organism, well known to occupy a multitude of environmental niches and cause human infections at a variety of bodily sites, due to its metabolic flexibility, secondary to extensive genetic heterogeneity at the species level. Because of its dynamic metabolism and clinical importance, we sought to(More)
Bacterial pneumonia is one of the leading causes of disease-related morbidity and mortality in the world, in part because the diagnostic tools for pneumonia are slow and ineffective. To improve the diagnosis success rates and treatment outcomes for bacterial lung infections, we are exploring the use of secondary electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry(More)
Glycosylation of pyrimidine bases to give nucleosides under plausible prebiotic conditions has not been achieved, and this represents a serious challenge to the “RNA world” and to many of its proposed precursors.1 Three decades ago, Orgel and co-workers demonstrated that adenine and hypoxanthine form glycosidic bonds with D-ribose when dried and heated(More)
The origin of the first RNA polymers is central to most current theories for the origin of life. Difficulties associated with the prebiotic formation of RNA have lead to the general consensus that a simpler polymer preceded RNA. However, polymers proposed as possible ancestors to RNA are not much easier to synthesize than RNA itself. One particular problem(More)