Princeton University engineers develop new contamination detecting technology

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental engineers use the principles of biology and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. High school students who wish to launch careers in this field may benefit from enrolling in a related degree program.

Princeton University in New Jersey, is an Ivy League college that boasts an award-winning engineering program. Scientists at the school have developed a sensor that may revolutionize how drugs and medical devices are tested for contamination, using a compound that is found on the skin of an endangered frog, Princeton reports.

In the wild, the African clawed frog produces antibacterial peptides - which are small chains of amino acids - on its skin to protect it from infection. Princeton researchers have found a way to attach these peptides, which can be synthesized in the laboratory, to a small electronic chip that emits an electrical signal when exposed to harmful bacteria.

The researchers hope that their technology will eventually replace standard contamination testing. Producing this new sensory device would not further endanger the frog species.

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