Proud moment for Indian science: New tool to detect water arsenic

In a cutting-edge innovation, Indian scientists have developed a new tool to detect arsenic, a potent human carcinogen, present in the groundwater in several Indian provinces toxin. Arsenic poisoning of groundwater is widespread in Indian provinces of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science experts have devised a tool that uses a tiny gold clusters that glow up on detecting toxic arsenic in water and roughly indicate the extent of contamination.

According to Arindam Banerjee of the department of biological chemistry of the Kolkata-based association, the tool’s accuracy in detecting arsenic does not get affected by presence of other toxic metal ions in water.

The new tool stands apart from other sensors, as its gold clusters are particularly sensitive for detection of arsenic in water that contains such as manganese, iron and zinc.

The new tool can detect or sense arsenic ions in water even if they are diluted to 40 times their original concentration.

Arsenic is believed to be linked to health problems, including skin cancer, later in life. Apart from India’s neighbors Bangladesh and China, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Thailand and the US, too, face arsenic contamination challenge, according to the WHO.

Environmentalists and health experts back studies and scientific solutions to monitor techniques as well as methods to remove the arsenic from water.

The gold clusters used as sensor are capped with a small peptide to stabilize the entire structure to prevent the nascently prepared gold clusters from aggregating and forming bigger sized particles on their own – a natural tendency that they possess