New Waves April 2010

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

New technology detects microscopic pathogens in water

A new system developed by Texas AgriLife Research automatically scans a water sample and points to potential pathogens much faster than what humans can accomplish. As a result, the diseases these pathogens cause may be nipped in the bud before making people sick.

"Currently, it takes humans a long time and a lot of effort to peer through microscopes and look for green dots (indicating the presence of pathogens)," said Dr. Suresh Pillai, AgriLife Research scientist and professor of microbiology at Texas A&M University. "This system is more accurate and can provide results immediately for users around the world."

The automated system was developed specifically to seek out cryptosporidium and giardia—pathogens that are transmitted via water and cause severe diarrhea in people with compromised immune systems. They are spread globally through contaminated drinking water.

Read the full Ag News story here.

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