Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Monitoring poisons in the environment -- a woolly matter

02.04.2007
Heavy metals are present in variable amounts in the natural environment in the UK. Dr Jennifer Sneddon (Liverpool John Moores University) will present the results of a pilot study assessing the use of upland sheep wool as a bio-monitoring device for natural levels of heavy metals in the Lake District and Wales at the Society for Experimental Biology’s Annual Meeting in Glasgow (31st March – 2nd April).

Significant correlations were found between the amount of copper and lead found in washed wool from sheep and in local streams. Median copper concentration in North Ronaldsay wool was comparatively high despite lower soil concentrations. Shetland sheep appeared to accumulate more lead than Swaledale sheep. Another significant observation related to the sex of the sheep – values for wool concentration of both lead and copper were significantly higher in male sheep, which has been linked to the effect of androgens on metabolism.

Dr Sneddon comments, "Sheep wool evidently has potential as a bio-indicator of naturally occurring heavy metal concentrations in upland areas, which have previously not been assessed in this way". Future studies are planned to assess how the age of the sheep, and where on the animal the wool is taken from, influence results. Furthermore, it is intended to use samples provided by the British Wool Marketing Board in order to provide regional and national focus to this work. In addition, it is hoped that sheep can be of future use in bio-remediation studies on brownfield sites.

Experimental method: A handful of wool was taken from shoulder area of rare and heritage breeds of sheep grazing on hills in the Lake District and North Wales. The wool was then washed to ensure that only metabolised deposits of heavy metals were detected, rather than anything that had stuck to the outside of the wool. Copper and lead concentrations were then determined using highly sensitive equipment which can accurately detect very small quantities of heavy metals. This was compared with data from local streams for accuracy.

Gillian Dugan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sebiology.org/index.asp

Further reports about: Lead concentration sheep

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

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...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>