Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Biobullets’ fight harmful mussels

01.02.2006


British researchers have developed a "biobullet" that could help control an invasive mollusk that has ravaged U.S. waterways for nearly two decades clogging water pipes, virtually wiping out some native mussels species and causing billions of dollars in industrial damage. The new microcapsules, which contain toxins that dissolve within a zebra mussel’s digestive tract, offer a safe and cost-effective way of eliminating one of the world’s "most important economic pests" without harming other aquatic life, according to scientists at the University of Cambridge.



The report, in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal, outlines how zoologist David Aldridge and colleagues developed microcapsules about the size of the algae particles that zebra mussels feed on. Once ingested, the "biobullets" slowly release small amounts of potassium chloride, a salt that is poisonous to most freshwater mollusks. Unlike other methods used to eradicate zebra mussels, such as chlorine, "biobullets" pose little or no threat to other marine animals, the researchers say, because they rapidly degrade and disperse in water.

Since their accidental introduction from Eastern Europe into the Great Lakes in the late 1980s, zebra mussels have become notorious aquatic pests, fouling water intake pipes at hydroelectric stations, nuclear power plants and industrial facilities. In addition, zebra mussels can anchor themselves to other mollusks, making it impossible for native species to thrive. In some case, as many as 10,000 zebra mussels have attached themselves to a single native mussel, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In all, the researchers note, coping with these pests costs upward of $5 billion annually.


Without many natural predators, zebra mussels have rapidly spread and are now found in 21 states including Oklahoma, Louisiana and Vermont, according to the USGS. Unchecked, many scientists suspect zebra mussels will soon spread throughout North American waterways.

Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>