Identifying Bacteria in Water
Many developing countries lack clean water. As a result, a growing number of organizations are devoted to helping countries develop the necessary infrastructure for clean water—since bacterial infections from dirty water can lead to life-threatening dehydration. A team at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed a new cell phone-based fluorescent imaging and sensing platform that attaches to a mobile phone's camera. This device can detect dangerous bacteria in water, including E. coli, and help people identify when water may need to be purified by boiling. The value of this technology isn't just identifying potentially dangerous water; when people know that water is clean, they can save their fuel for cooking.