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 mussels digestive tract, offer a safe and cost-effective way of eliminating one of the worlds "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 Societys 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.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung
Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine