Scientists "listen" to plants to find water pollution
2008 08 16
Scientists in Israel have discovered a new way to test for water pollution by "listening" to what the plants growing in water have to say.
By shining a laser beam on the tiny pieces of algae floating in the water, the researchers said they hear sound waves that tell them the type and amount of contamination in the water.
"It is a red light, telling us that something is beginning to go wrong with the quality of water," said Zvy Dubinsky, an aquatic biologist at Israel's Bar Ilan University. "Algae is the first thing to be affected by a change in water quality."
Although most of the earth is covered in water, 44 percent of the world's population live in areas with high water stress, and the number is likely to increase because of factors such as global warming and rising population.
As water sources deteriorate worldwide, the testing of algae could be used to monitor water quality faster, more cheaply and more accurately than techniques now in use, Dubinsky said.
The secret, he said, is to measure the rate of photosynthesis in the algae, meaning the plant's ability to transform light into energy. During photosynthesis, plants also release oxygen into the air.
Dubinsky's technique is easy to perform because of the over-abundance of algae in the planet's water. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere comes from algae.
A prototype tester, that occupies about one square meter of a laboratory desktop, shoots a laser beam at water samples to stimulate photosynthesis in the algae. But not all of the laser's heat is used.
Depending on the condition of the algae and the rate of photosynthesis, some of the heat is shot back into the water, creating sound waves, Dubinsky said.
With a special underwater microphone, researchers are able to analyze the strength of the sound waves and determine the health of the algae and the condition of the surrounding water.
"Algae suffering from lead poisoning, like waste discharged from battery and paint manufacturing plants, will produce a different sound than those suffering from lack of iron or exposure to other toxins," said researcher Yulia Pinchasov.
She said that testing algae photosynthesis can determine water quality more accurately and easily than labor-intensive methods now used like chemical and radioactive carbon testing.
With proper funding, Dubinsky said a commercial product could be ready in about two years.
The team has published its research in numerous scientific journals, most recently in the journal Hydrobiologia.
Article from: http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/
Cleve Backster - Primary Perception And The Consciousness Of Plants
Plants 'thrive' on Moon rock diet
Red Ice Creations Radio - Jim Sanders - Ayahuasca, Plants, Nature & Shaman Juan Flores (Subscription)
Do Not Offend Water - It Remembers Every Word You Say
Latest News from our Front Page
US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik.
December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Ziolebrities: Simon Cowell donates £100,000 to Israeli soldiers to please pregnant jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman
Cowell, 54, is also planning a secret trip to Israel soon as he embraces the Jewish faith of Silverman, 36
Gala: Billionaire Haim Saban with Cowell
Simon Cowell has publicly donated nearly £100,000 in support of the Israeli army.
The X Factor boss pledged the cash to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills.
The lavish gala ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack.
Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job.
Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move.
The Bankster International
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
|More News » |