Protozoan swimming style identifies water toxins

时间:2017-09-07 06:01:05166网络整理admin

WATCHING a protozoan version of synchronised swimming could provide a low-cost way of detecting toxins in water. Many species of protozoa are covered in hair-like cilia that beat in a coordinated way to propel them through a fluid. Chemicals in the fluid can interfere with the transport of calcium to the cilia, with different chemicals altering the microbes’ swimming style in different ways, says Robert Curtis at Petrel Biosensors, a spin-out of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Curtis’s team placed protozoans in test solutions containing different common toxins, and used a camera to assess the resulting swimming patterns. Using these as reference points,