PetPitcher Forum  

Go Back   PetPitcher Forum > MEMBERS CORNER > Interaction

Interaction General chit chat area.



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15th August 2008, 02:38 PM
David's Avatar
David David is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Tue Dec 2006
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 5,047
Default Scientists "listen" to plants to find water pollution

Found this article on the Star newspapers today. The original story was from Reuters. Kinda interesting...

Thursday August 14, 2008

Scientists "listen" to plants to find water pollution

By Ari Rabinovitch

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - 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 prototytpe tester, that occupies about one square metre of a laboratory desktop, shoots a laser beam at water samples to stimulate photosyntesis 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 analyse 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 labour-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.

Copyright 2008 Reuters
__________________
Plant Database - Picture Gallery - Little Shop Of Horrors

Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children. - A Kenyan Proverb
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15th August 2008, 05:18 PM
TS TS is offline
Pioneer
Senior Global Moderator
 
Join Date: Fri Dec 2006
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Posts: 1,143
Default Re: Scientists "listen" to plants to find water pollution

Very interesting article, thanks David.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18th August 2008, 01:20 PM
bactrus bactrus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Wed Sep 2007
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Posts: 1,186
Default Re: Scientists "listen" to plants to find water pollution

Very interesting. Wonder if that technology can be applied in the real world soon. I am particularly interested if the application can be applied to access water in Effluent Ponds. Especially the last pond prior to discharge into river system. We'll have cleaner river then. Hurray!!!
__________________
BA
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19th September 2009, 09:17 PM
marvin1997's Avatar
marvin1997 marvin1997 is offline
Full Member
 
Join Date: Sat Sep 2008
Location: KL
Posts: 1,914
Default Re: Scientists "listen" to plants to find water pollution

After listening can they do something?
__________________
P.S. Sorry if I say something that offends people like telling people what to do ,saying idiotic things, claiming something etc....
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +9. The time now is 05:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Site by David Tan, Founder and Administrator of petpitcher.com and forum.petpitcher.com