Patrolling for PollutantsMarch 1, 2006 By: Barbara G. Goode, Sensors Sensors
An article in Food Production Daily Europe reports that Raj Mutharasan of Drexel University has developed an inexpensive detector that "will be as easy to use as a thermometer, giving a result in 10 minutes." The device works by detecting how the mass of a few E. coli cells changes the vibration of a micro glass cantilever.
Also in the realm of environmental monitoring for human health, laser specialist Picarro Inc. has won a Phase I SBIR contract from the EPA to develop instrumentation for source and ambient detection of acrolein. Acrolein is a highly toxic, ubiquitous pollutant used chemically as an herbicide and is released into the atmo-sphere during combustion processes (in forest fires, waste incinerators, furnaces, engine emissions, power plants, cooking, etc.). The instrument will be based on Picarro's patented cavity ring-down spectroscopy. (www.picarro.com)
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