As water resources become more scarce, the quality of our clear friend could use a quick, economical test of its composition. Enter FREDsense (and synthetic biology).
A young group of Canadian biologists from Calgary are going about providing a portable "toxin biosensor" to affordably detect the quality of our most precious compound, and transmit those data samples remotely.
While traditional water sampling might cost about $20,000 per sample, With FREDsense, the beauty is in the details. Here's what the website suggests:
"FRED - the Field-Ready Electrochemical Detector - utilizes a tunable bacteria that can sense a variety of water-borne contaminants. Today, these [contaminants] include heavy metals and organic compounds. Tomorrow, we aim to detect pharmaceuticals, pesticides and a variety of other harmful contaminants. On exposure to compounds of interest, FRED produces a quantifiable electrical signal that tells us how much of the toxin is present in your water. The data is then sent to your device, allowing you to continuously monitor multiple bodies of water from a centralized location."
With wins at multiple competitions, the FREDsense Technologies team has been named to the Kairos Society's 2015 K50.