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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Israel: Test Thy Water Using Glowing Bacteria?

(Image Credit: CheckLight)

Water, water everywhere, but is it safe to drink?

That is the question citizens often ask their respective governments, especially if their is a water contamination crisis. Unfortunately it seems that in order to verify if the H2O is "good to go," one must spend some serious money, not to mention the lag time waiting for the lab results to come in.

Fortunately it seems one Israeli company called CheckLight is setting out to change all of this by using some of the tiniest creatures to warn us whether or not the water from our facets is safe to drink.

(Israel 21st Century) Luminescent bacteria glow at night on the beaches in Costa Rica and the Mediterranean Sea. Now an Israeli start-up has developed a novel and economical solution that uses these unusual micro organisms to help keep drinking water clean and safe. [...]

When the bacteria are placed in drinking water that contains harmful chemicals, they glow a warning signal, which can be read by a machine measuring light intensity. [...]

"We can go out to the water source and test on the spot. You will know in 15 minutes - the time it takes for the bacteria and sensors to respond to any number of contaminants in the water. Our system detects them at low concentrations, and very quickly," she explains.

These tests could help governments save millions of dollars as CheckLight's system is both inexpensive and fast. According to the article, the United States is already considering using this to test their water supplies, and it would not be surprising to see other nations contacting CheckLight in the future as well.

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