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Luminous Bacterial Proteins Detect Chemicals in Water


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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne
    While residual medications don’t belong in the water, trace metals from industrial process waters handled by the recycling industry are, in contrast, valuable resources. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have developed a simple color sensor principle which facilitates the easy detection of both materials as well as many other substances. This is the concept: If the analyzed sample shines red, then the water is ‘clean;’ if its color turns green, however, then it contains the substances the scientists wish to detect. The researchers recently published their concept in the scientific journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical (DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2013.05.051).

    “Pharmaceutical residues are becoming increasingly a problem for the environment. Sewage plants do not decompose these substances completely. The problem will worsen if one considers, for example, the rising proportion of elderly people in our society who actually account for the increased consumption of medicine,†notes Dr. Katrin Pollmann, Team Leader Biotechnology at the HZDR. “Our color sensor method is generally suitable for detecting all kinds of substances,“ continues Dr. Pollmann. It could also be very profitable when used for recycling strategic metals, an important research topic at the HZDR’s Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) where Dr. Pollmann’s group conducts their research. The recycling industry handles process waters which contain metals that can be utilized.

     

     

    http://www.hzdr.de/db/Cms?pNid=473&pOid=39238

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