Ummid Assistant

Applications open for Manmohan scholarship at Cambridge

Opportunities for Indian students in US

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Science & Technology

Indian scientists develop arsenic detection tool

Sunday February 24, 2013 12:35:53 PM, Sahana Ghosh, IANS

Kolkata: Scientists in Kolkata have developed a new high-precision technique to detect arsenic in water, a toxic substance widespread in the groundwater of India and Bangladesh that on long-term exposure is capable of causing skin cancer.

According to the WHO, natural arsenic contamination is a cause for concern in many countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, India, Mexico, Thailand and the US.

The new method developed by the scientists enables high-precision detection of arsenic through tiny gold clusters that signal its presence in water by emitting light (a phenomenon called fluorescence).

"The ultra-sensitive sensors synthesised by us were in the form of gold clusters that signal the presence of arsenic in water by emitting more light or fluorescence when in contact with the toxic arsenic in water.

"It even detected arsenic in presence of other toxic metal ions," Arindam Banerjee of the Department of Biological Chemistry of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, told IANS.

Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, said arsenic poisoning in India is a widespread phenomenon which needs monitoring techniques as well as methods for removal of the toxic substance.

"Arsenic poisoning of groundwater is widespread in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Even our neighbour Bangladesh faces the same problem.

"Scientific studies in monitoring techniques as well as methods to remove the arsenic from water are necessary," Chandra Bhushan told IANS.

The unique feature of the new monitoring technique is that it can roughly indicate the extent of arsenic contamination.

"The more the light emitted, the greater the quantity of arsenic present," Banerjee added.

The gold clusters of sub-nano dimensions were capped with a small peptide (a dipeptide) to stabilise the entire structure.

"The dipeptide, i.e., two residue containing small peptide (dicysteine), was used to stabilize the fluorescent gold clusters. The nascently prepared gold clusters have a natural tendency to aggregate to form bigger sized particles; that is why you need to have capping or stabilising agent to prevent aggregation.

"The nascently formed gold clusters and peptide are biocompatible, innocuous agent to the environment," Banerjee explained.

Unlike other sensors, these gold clusters are particularly sensitive for detection of arsenic in water that contains other metal contaminants as well.

"The fluorescence intensity of the gold cluster almost remains same in the presence of different metal ions such as magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc. In fact, these clusters are so sensitive and precise that they can detect or sense arsenic ions in water even if they are diluted to 40 times their original concentration," Banerjee added.

(Sahana Ghosh can be contacted at




Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS


More Headlines

This will be a make-or-break budget for UPA

Delhi Police special women's helpline - 2,000 calls in 45 days

Huge turnout in peaceful Nagaland, Meghalaya polls

Time to revive Kashmir's traditional storytellers

We need action to empower Muslims, not promises: Arshad Madani

Voters out in large numbers in Nagaland

NSUI asks PM to grant students bus fare concession

Teachers clash with police in Odisha, 40 hurt

Mirza Wasey injured for second time in terror attack

Court orders pension for Hyderabad freedom fighter

First ear, then eye: The cost of joining strike in West Bengal

Hyderabad blasts: Police get vital clues


Top Stories

Amnesty wants thorough, impartial probe of Hyderabad bombing

Says shoddy investigations and unlawful police practices violate fair trial rights of suspects

Amnesty International Saturday said Indian authorities must conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the Hyderabad twin bombings but "protect minority communities   

Cybrabad blasts - Kai Po Che Its Afzal !

Hyderbad terror attack shattered young dreams

Hyderabad blasts: Police get vital clues


  Most Read

We need action to empower Muslims, not promises: Arshad Madani

Top Muslims leaders and clerics Saturday warned secular parties not to use the Muslim community as their "vote bank" only but sincerely work for their socio-economic uplift   

Six cops, villager killed in Bihar landmine blast

Seven people, including six police officials, were killed Friday when Maoist guerrillas triggered a landmine blast in Bihar's Gaya district, police said. The incident took place around noon in Gaya district's Uchla village near Sherghati, about 100 km from here, when Maoists blew up a patrolling  


  News Pick

Maulana Azad Urdu varsity for exchange with Saudi universities

Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Vice-Chancellor Mohammad Miyan Wednesday proposed academic exchange programme between his varsity and universities 

Bengal government asked for ways to ban online 'rape-games'

The West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) has sought a report from the state government suggesting ways to block on the internet "rape-games" - the Japanese video games which challenge a player to rape women. "The commission has expressed serious concerns over the 

First ear, then eye: The cost of joining strike in West Bengal

A brick kiln worker was seriously injured and his eye severely damaged after he was attacked allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters for 

Ear chopped off for skipping office during strike

Premji transfers 12 percent Wipro shares to his trust

Wipro chairman Azim Premji Friday transferred 12 percent (295.5 million) of the IT bellwether's shares, valued at Rs.12,300 crore (Rs.123 billion/$2.3 billion), to an endowment trust headed   


Picture of the Day

Mughal Garden: While there are 120 varieties of roses across the 15-acre Mughal Gardens, this time around the main attraction are the 2,500 dahlias that will certainly grab eyeballs.


Recommend the story to your friends



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us


The Funny Side

Education & Career Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.