When it comes to testing for cancer, environmental pollution and food contaminants, traditional sensors can help. The challenges are that they often are bulky, expensive, non-intuitive and complicated. Now, one team reports in ACS Sensors that portable pressure-based detectors coupled with ... more
New technique for detecting mold contamination in homes and other buildings
With mold contamination of homes an ongoing concern – and a special threat to the 2.5 million foreclosed houses in the U.S., shuttered with little ventilation – scientists are reporting a new method to detect and identify low levels of airborne mold. The report, which describes a simple, fast method that could provide an early indication of potential contamination, appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Sutapa Ghosal and colleagues indicate that mold contamination of homes, especially after water damage from storms and floods, is an ongoing concern. Although most molds are harmless, scientists have linked some with health risks to humans. Traditional methods for detecting mold contamination involve identifying the spores that mold release into the air. Those tests are labor- and time-intensive, often requiring that the mold grow in the laboratory. Moreover, not every mold can grow under these conditions. That's why the researchers have sought to develop a fast and easy method that can reliably detect and identify low levels of airborne mold – even single spores.
The scientists describe a new method, which involves collecting air samples on a piece of commercially available aluminum foil, and then analyzing the spores with a technique called Raman microspectroscopy (RMS). They used the method to detect and identify single spores from seven common types of mold. The team says that use of the new test could help with many problems in the public health, forensics sciences and environmental fields.
- Raman microspectroscopy
Quantum mechanics rules. It dictates how particles and forces interact, and thus how atoms and molecules work -- for example, what happens when a molecule goes from a higher-energy state to a lower-energy one. But beyond the simplest molecules, the details become very complex. "Quantum mech ... more
On the list of dreaded medical tests, a prostate biopsy probably ranks fairly high. The common procedure requires sticking a needle into the prostate gland to remove tissue for assessment. Thousands of men who undergo the uncomfortable procedure, prompted by a positive PSA (prostate-specifi ... more
Ever wondered about what keeps your food safe from harmful contaminants? Food safety is frequently featured in the headline news and chemistry plays an important role in assuring that our food is free from unwanted contaminants. Learn the latest in separation science and instrumentations ut ... moreWebinarOn-Demand
There is a learning curve for everything, but mistakes made in the lab can ruin your research and cause dangerous accidents. Tune is as Dr. Alison Frontier shares some trends that she has discovered after 10 years of running the website “Not Voodoo X,” which provides a place where chemists ... moreWebinarOn-Demand
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union (Brexit) is causing major upheaval in financial markets as investors rush to supposedly “safe havens”. This is highlighting the underlying slowdown in demand growth caused by globally ageing populations. What does this mean for the chemical and ... more
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