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Luminous bacterial proteins detect chemicals in water

"Pharmaceutical residues are becoming increasingly a problem for the environment. Sewage plants do not decompose these substances completely. The problem will worsen if one considers, for example, the rising proportion of elderly people in our society who actually account for the increased consumption of medicine," notes Dr. Katrin Pollmann, Team Leader Biotechnology at the HZDR.

If a substance to be detected is present in a water sample, then a sensor shines green; a red color, however, indicates that the substance is not present. What is the reason for the color difference? "The color molecules are located on a nanostructured surface consisting of bacterial proteins.

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