Simply Scientifico| System to accurately detect toxic levels of fluoride in water
The problem of high fluoride content in underground water in India can now be detected easily and quickly at low costs.
Published: 10th February 2023 08:34 AM | Last Updated: 10th February 2023 08:34 AM | A+A A-
EASY-TO-USE BIOSENSOR TECH TO DETECT FLUORIDE IN WATER
The problem of high fluoride content in underground water in India can now be detected easily and quickly at low costs. This solution comes from a biosensor developed at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA. Its researchers have developed a system to accurately detect toxic levels of fluoride in water through an easy-to-use test. It has been field-tested in rural Kenya with supporting evidence to show that even lay people can use the test and interpret the results with precision. The researchers have repurposed a 2020 technique and developed a biosensor technology platform called ROSALIND (RNA Output Sensors Activated by Ligand Induction). A ligand is any molecule or atom irreversibly binding to receiving protein molecules, also known as receptors. The amount of binding determines the levels of fluoride in this case. The ROSALIND’s upgrade improved the device’s use and made it quicker to allow easy transport to remote locations.
SKIN-LIKE TECH TO MONITOR HEALTH
A stretchable and breathable material that can be worn on the skin and remain undetectable, can enable long-term health monitoring, including onsets of cancers, diabetes and cardiac issues. Developed by researchers at University of Mussoorie, the skin-like material– an ultrasoft wearable bioelectronic device can simultaneously track multiple vital signs while keeping a check on blood pressure, heart’s electric activities and hydration levels in the skin. That it is breathable and stretchable means it can be worn on-skin for long hours to allow it to monitor health parameters while the wearer goes about the daily routine.
SOLAR RADIATION: COOLING EARTH WITH A SHADE OF LUNAR DUST?
Research team from the University of Utah is exploring a unique and ambitious feat to reduce the effects of global warming. They are studying the effects of shading the Earth with lunar dust to reduce solar radiation reaching the planet to achieve marginal cooling. It is meant to intercept a bit of sunlight before it reaches Earth. They expect to reduce the radiation by up to 2%, to mitigate the effects of global warming. They explore the benefits of shading the Earth with lunar dust by forming a layer at the L1 Lagrange Point, which is the closest point between the sun and Earth where the gravitational forces of the two are balanced. The researchers, using simulation, are studying which orbits can hold lunar dust in position to provide shading to the sun-facing part of Earth to achieve the effect. A variety of simulated scenarios tested various trajectories towards L1 to get the best ‘sun shield’. There are challenges — major ones. How to get the dust into the trajectory and keep replenishing the previous ‘sun shield’ with a newer one every few days. But the researchers say their study only explores the potential impact of this strategy rather than look into the feasibility of it.
Science is a world in itself. Here are some interesting science that connects with you Nirad Mudur