For his PhD thesis, Unai Iriarte Velasco analysed strategies for reducing levels of subproducts from the disinfection of drinkable water and their application in optimising the functioning of water treatment plants.
The thesis, recently presented at the University of the Basque Country, centres on the treatment of drinkable water. Currently it is known that the chlorine employed as disinfectant reacts with the natural organic material present in surface water. This interaction is responsible for the presence of certain undesirable substances known as disinfection subproducts. In fact, current legislation includes some of these disinfection subproducts amongst their criteria for the first time. The general aim of the thesis was to evaluate the factors that favour the formation of these subproducts and thus reduce the levels of exposition derived from the consumption of drinkable water.
The thesis has managed to establish the influence of the physicochemical characteristics of the supply water. The efficacy of the various treatments available was studied and new tools for the on-line control of the water purification plants have been developed. Moreover, according to the author, a higher quality product is not obtained using a greater amount of disinfectant.
Garazi Andonegi | alfa
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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