Scientist Develop a Simple, Inexpensive New Test That Can Detect Dangerous Levels of Fluoride in Drinking Water

Scientist Develop a Simple, Inexpensive New Test That Can Detect Dangerous Levels of Fluoride in Drinking Water

Northwestern University synthetic biologists developed an easy, inexpensive new test that may detect harmful levels of fluoride in drinking water.

Costing simply pennies to make, the system only needs a drip and a flick: Drip a tiny water droplet right into a prepared test tube, flick the tube as soon as to mix it and wait. If the water turns yellow, then an extreme amount of fluoride—exceeding the EPA’s most stringent regulatory standards—is present.

This methodology is starkly totally different from current tests, which cost hundreds of dollars and sometimes require scientific expertise to make use of.

The researchers tested the system each within the laboratory at Northwestern and within the field in Costa Rica, where fluoride is naturally abundant close to the Irazu volcano. When consumed in high amounts over long durations of time, fluoride may cause skeletal fluorosis, a painful condition that hardens bones and joints.

Americans have a tendency to think about the health benefits of small doses of fluoride that strengthen teeth. However, elsewhere in the world, particularly across elements of Africa, Asia, and Central America, fluoride naturally happens at levels that might be dangerous to consume.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element, which might seep out of bedrock into groundwater. Additionally, found in volcanic ash, fluoride is particularly abundant in regions surrounding volcanoes. Though the device is easy to make use of, the prepared test tube houses a sophisticated synthetic biology reaction. Lucks has spent years working to know RNA folding mechanisms. In his new test, he puts this folding mechanism to work.