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IIT Roorkee develops a biosensor to detect harmful detergent pollutant

New Delhi :
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) has developed a biosensor to detect harmful detergent pollutant. It is the world’s first bacterial biosensor to detect the presence of environment pollutant Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The disposal of SDS in water bodies affects the quality of drinking water & also harms aquatic organisms.

Supported by the Department of Biotechnology –

The lead author of the study is Sourik Dey who was supported by the Department of Biotechnology MSc program at IIT Roorkee. He completed this year and is leaving for Germany in first week of November for PhD. He did his thesis project in Prof Navani’s laboratory. Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India, provided financial assistance to Prof. Naveen K Navani for conducting the research. The other members of the team are Shahnawaz Ahmad Baba, Ankita Bhatt, Rajat Dhyani

Know About SDS –

Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate /Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SDS) is extensively used in soaps, toothpaste, creams, shampoos, laundry detergents in households, agricultural operations, laboratories, and industries. Its subsequent disposal in waterways causes harmful effects on aquatic organisms, environmental microcosms, and associated living organisms besides deteriorating the quality of drinking water. This objective of the study was to develop a novel biosensor for the detection of a detergent Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate /Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SDS) in environmental samples.

How is bacterial biosensor different? –
Until now, there were no specific biosensors developed to date for the detection of SDS with high precision. The IIT Roorkee team has developed a whole-cell biosensor using Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 strain as a framework (chassis).

– The system involves a highly specific regulator along with a fluorescent protein that is produced only when SDS is present in the sample.
– The system can even detect 0.1 ppm of SDS in aquatic samples.
– This biosensor is highly specific for SDS and has minimal interference from other detergents, metals, and inorganic ions present in the environment. Unlike conventional methods, it can easily distinguish between closely- related detergents-SDS and SDBS (Sodium Dodecyl benzenesulfonate).

Species of Pseudomonas can be engineered –
“Pseudomonads have an inherent capability to be used as an optimal destination framework for synthetic biology applications. The selected species of Pseudomonas can be engineered to detect various chemicals owing to their resilient nature to survive and adapt to harsh environmental conditions.

SDS without involving sample preparation steps –
The highlight of this research is the development of the world’s first whole-cell bacterial biosensor for the direct, specific and efficient detection of SDS without involving sample preparation steps, toxic chemicals, sophisticated polymers and sensor development steps” said Sourik Dey, Final year MSc student at IIT Roorkee.

IIT Kharagpur produces vegetable oil packed with nutrients with the same case

New Delhi :
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) has innovated new vegetable oil packed with nutrients at the same cost. This will enrich the oil with antioxidants and reduce saturated fats in it, for the same cost.

IIT-Kharagpur claim their patented blend of oils –

This solution could also turn into a healthier alternative for solid fats in dairy products, in the form of powdered vegetable oil consumables. Researchers at IIT-Kharagpur claim their patented blend of oils, which is mixed with market-available vegetable oil, makes it low on cholesterol, trans and saturated fats.

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