chers at Sandia. In the first stages of development, this technology has the potential for early detection of biological toxins and could prove to be very helpful in maintaining the integrity of the nation's water supplies. Sandia's cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) partners in the California endeavor are CH2M Hill, a leading US engineering firm, and Tenix, an Australian engineering services company. CH2M Hill is a global engineering and construction management firm with particular expertise in sewer and wastewater treatment design. Tenix is a company with more than 30 years' experience in water supply, sewerage, and drainage infrastructure.
The California microChemLab identifies proteins by separating samples into distinct bands in seconds to minutes. Separations occur in channels as narrow as a human hair coiled onto a glass chip about the size of a nickel.
Curtis Mowry, principal investigator for the New Mexico project, says his team is seeking to develop a device that detects trihalomethanes, undesirable byproducts of the chlorination process used to control the bacterial content of water. Trihalomethanes, which can form when surface water is treated with chlorine, are carcinogenic and can have adverse liver and kidney effects.
"The EPA has regulations for water utilities to monitor for trihalomethanes on a regular schedule," Mowry says. "Currently they have to collect samples and send them to labs for analysis. They get numbers back a few days later. This is a scary thing for us as consumers. The way it's done now, chemists may have measured high levels and there is chance someone has already consumed the water before the utility has the analysis results. Using the microChemLab will provide a way to bring the labs to the site and get results in a more timely manner."
The microChemLab system is expected to help water utilities to limit the initial formation of trihalomethanes by functioning as a component of aPage: 1 2 3 4 Related biology news :1
Contact: Chris Burroughs
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
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