Synthetic DNA traces water contamination sources

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Current methods for tracking water contamination are relatively limited in scope and speed, and can be toxic to animals if applied in high enough concentrations. Scientists at New Zealand’s Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) have found a way to swiftly identify the path of contaminated water, as well as the source. Non-toxic and relatively inexpensive to produce, synthetic DNA tracers can be applied to multiple bodies of water. Easy to detect in tests, the team developed two types of tracer – one for surface and waste waters and one for subsurface water. In cases of public health emergencies,…

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