A new low-cost handheld device will let users know if the water can be drink in a matter of minutes

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Gadget "tastes" water to let you know whether or not it's safe for drinking.
The device can sense 17 different contaminants in a single drop of water. (Picture: Unsplash)

A new low-cost handheld device will let users know if the water can be drink in a matter of minutes. It does this by ‘tasting the water with electronic buds that inform the user if the water is affected by contamination.

The device is based on powerful genetic networks that can be programmed that emulate electronic circuits, enabling them to perform various logic functions.

Scientists have discovered that it creates an electronic output from eight tubes, which tells users how much the contaminant is. If it’s only one, it’s safe. If it’s more than eight, there’s a danger.

The device is dubbed “Rosalind 2.0”, named after the famous chemical scientist Rosalind Franklin. The molecule can detect 17 different contaminants within just a drop.

Gadget "tastes" water to let you know whether or not it's safe for drinking.
The device works by using powerful and programmable genetic networks, which mimic electronic circuits, to perform a range of logic functions. (Picture: Julius Lucks/Northwestern University)

The upgraded variant of the gadget has not only molecular tastebuds but also a molecular brain’, which provides different percentages of contaminants and offers ways to tackle them. For example, a lower concentration of lead in water can be addressed by flushing the water lines.

The system was demonstrated through the demonstration that it could detect different levels of zinc concentration, an antibiotic, and industrial metabolites.

“We programmed each tube so that they have a different threshold of contamination. Prof. Julius Lucks of Northwestern University explained that the tube with the lowest thresholds would be lit constantly.

If all the tubes light up, then there’s an issue. The development of circuits and programmable DNA computing can open up a variety of possibilities for different types of diagnostics that are smart, the scientist said.

The researchers claimed that they had discovered how bacteria taste things in their water using tiny molecular-level “taste buds.”

Cell-free synthetic biology enables us to pull those tiny molecular taste buds and place them in the test tube. Then, we can “re-wire” them to produce an optical signal that lights so that the user can quickly and quickly determine the presence of a chemical within the drinking water, he explained.

The first platform was a bio-sensor that worked as a taste bud. Researchers have created a genetic network that functions as an actual brain. The bio-sensor detects any contamination. However, the output of the bio-sensor is fed to the gene network or circuit that functions as a brain and performs logic.

The launch of Rosalind has triggered the development of a platform that could offer concentration amounts, and other contaminants at different levels have to be addressed by utilizing various methods.

If you’re experiencing a low amount of lead within your drinking water, for instance, you may be able to bear it by flushing your water lines before time before using them. If you’re experiencing excessive levels, you should quit drinking your water as soon as possible and change your drinking water lines,’ stated Lucks.

“It’s obvious that we have to allow people with access to data to make critical and sometimes life-saving decisions, and he emphasized.

The Lucks are comparing it to home tests for Covid-19. He said that “people need tests at home as they require that information fast and frequently’.

“It’s like water. There are a variety of situations in which the quality of water has to be regularly measured. The expert explained that this isn’t a one-time event since contamination levels can fluctuate over the years.
The device was first described in the publication Nature Chemical Biology.