• Electrophoresis enables quantitative analysis of river pollution
    A freshwater shrimp enables quantitative analysis of river pollution using electrophoresis

Electrophoretic Separations

Electrophoresis enables quantitative analysis of river pollution

Jul 13 2010

Quantitative analysis enabled by electrophresis has been used to assess levels of pollution in rivers.

A freshwater shrimp, Gammarus, is present in all rivers, according to French national research centre for environmental engineering and agriculture Cemagref.

By subjecting the DNA of the shrimp to an electrophoretic process, scientists are able to determine how polluted the river in which it lived was.

This quantitative analysis is enabled because the DNA of a healthy shrimp will form a spherical shape in electrophoretic gel.

A shrimp from a polluted river, however, will produce a comet-like pattern with a nucleus and a tail whose length is comparable with the pollutant level of the river.

The research centre is broadening its studies to other varieties of the shrimp in an attempt to create a wider spectrum of testing options for determining river pollution.

However, as Gammarus is so widely abundant in rivers worldwide, it adds that testing using this method is already relatively simple.

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