Disposable uranium ion detector developed

Feb 13, 2007

U.S. scientists have developed a disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions with a sensitivity rivaling more sophisticated lab instruments.

University of Illinois researchers say their sensor provides a fast, on-site test for assessing uranium contamination in the environment and the effectiveness of remediation strategies.

"A unique feature of our uranium sensor is that it contains a small piece of DNA, the same basic building blocks of our genes," said chemistry Professor Yi Lu, senior author of the study. "Our sensor combines the high metal ion selectivity of catalytic DNA with the high sensitivity of fluorescence detection."

Lu, with collaborators at Oregon State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, assembled the uranium ion detector and tested it on soils containing varying amounts of uranium. With a sensitivity of 11 parts per trillion, the new sensor rivaled the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory instruments.

The study has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is posted on the journal's Web site.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Big chill sets in as RHIC physics heats up

Feb 04, 2014

If you think it's been cold outside this winter, that's nothing compared to the deep freeze setting in at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the early-universe-recreating "atom smasher" at the U.S. ...

Disposable sensor uses DNA to detect hazardous uranium ions

Feb 14, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple, disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions, with sensitivity that rivals the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory ...

Recommended for you

Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

Apr 18, 2014

The work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan's Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi "Scott" Huang of Michigan Tech's ...

Large streams of data warn cars, banks and oil drillers

Apr 16, 2014

Better warning systems that alert motorists to a collision, make banks aware of the risk of losses on bad customers, and tell oil companies about potential problems with new drilling. This is the aim of AMIDST, the EU project ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...