B.C. scientists engineer water-testing tool kit that IDs bacteria by genetics

April 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

Scientists in B.C. are developing new tools that will cut the time needed for water testing from days to just hours and allow public safety officials to detect contamination in time to head off illness.

Researchers at the British Columbia Public Health Laboratories are designing a completely new approach to water testing using metagenomics, a way to detect the genetic signature of dozens of organisms all at the same time within hours of sampling.

Metagenomic testing done at the watershed rather than the tap could shorten the response time to contamination and allow public health officials to intervene in time to save people from being sickened.

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