Scientists have assembled a collection of yeasts that convert agriculture waste into bio-oil, which is then easily converted into biodiesel or renewable jet fuel.
An Easier Way to Detect Mercury in Food and the Environment
Mercury is a naturally-occurring element that can be found in soil, water, and air. It can also be found in our food, and high levels of exposure from any source can cause neurological and kidney damage. Current methods for detecting mercury in environmental samples are complex, time-consuming, and require specialized training. They’re also laboratory-based, making them unsuitable for on-site mercury detection.
Now, a solution is at hand, thanks to an ARS-funded research project at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Researchers developed a dual-detection biosensor that couples a color-measuring capability with electrochemical sensing. The resulting biosensor is faster, more user-friendly, and just as effective and accurate as existing methods. It is also portable, enabling on-site testing of samples for mercury in the parts-per-million range and displaying the results on a smartphone. The biosensor can also be adapted to multiplex, low-cost strip devices for on-site detection of toxins, pathogens, and heavy metals other than mercury.
Research Project: Deep Learning Approach For Classifying Contamination Levels
Explore Other Discoveries
Green Jet Fuel Takes Off
Turning Wine Waste into Gut Power
Researchers have teamed up with wine growers to determine whether waste from wine grapes can be converted into healthy food components.
‘Programming’ Babies for Better Health?
ARS-funded researchers investigated how the content of oligosaccharides differed in milk produced by women with normal weight, overweight, or obesity.
The Toxin that’s Hiding in Plain Sight
ARS scientists are studying the potential health risks of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
New Wheat Alters Insulin Response
Research at the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center revealed that consuming a new type of wheat may help control blood sugar.
Genes That Keep Tomatoes Fresher
Scientists have identified a tomato gene that's responsible for the softening process in the fruit as it matures, and found a way to inhibit the gene, keeping tomatoes firmer, longer.