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What is that in the water? Researchers have developed a simple way to trace contamination

The contamination of water, especially with fecal matter from animals or humans, is a serious problem. Pathogens from human or animal wastes can cause life-threatening diseases as well as economic losses. To address fecal pollution of water systems properly, it is important to know the origin of the waste. Human and animal wastes present different health risks; identifying which of the two is the source of contamination will allow the application of effective remediation strategies and the development of preventive measures. Early this year, a team of researchers from Austria devised a simple method to detect the source of fecal contamination in a given water source. In their study published in the journal Scientific Reports, they demonstrated how a simple DNA test can determine if the waste came from ruminants used in agriculture or from runoff water from sewage.  Read more....

 

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