Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Respond To Threat, Look For Anthrax

Date:
February 13, 2003
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
A team of Texas A&M University and University of Texas researchers is working on a system that will sample mail for airborne contaminants, such as anthrax spores, and ultimately provide a reliable means of detecting biological and chemical agents sent through the mail.

COLLEGE STATION, February 12, 2003 - A team of Texas A&M University and University of Texas researchers is working on a system that will sample mail for airborne contaminants, such as anthrax spores, and ultimately provide a reliable means of detecting biological and chemical agents sent through the mail.

"We have full-scale mail sorting machines that generate background dust - just as you would find in a real sorting facility," Dr. Andrew McFarland, Wyatt Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, said.

As mail goes through a sorter, it moves through rollers that apply pressure to each piece. Any air or toxic substances that are in the envelope can escape and be spread on anything nearby - including other mail, the machine or the surrounding air.

McFarland's group, which is collaborating with biochemist Dr. John T. McDivitt of the University of Texas at Austin, has developed a vacuum system that is placed in the part of a machine where substances could first be released from mail. The equipment is designed to draw samples of air and pass them to a detector, which will identify and quantify both biological and chemical agents. The McDivitt laboratory is developing the detector.

Funding for the research is provided by Siemens Dematic, and they have installed two high-speed mail sorting machines at Texas A&M, which helps in the effort.

"This whole project is a very collaborative effort," said McFarland, who is also director of the Aerosol Technology Laboratory. "The process on which we are working is divided into several different areas." McFarland and his collaborators say their devices have the potential to provide an inexpensive approach for near-real-time, continuous monitoring of many biological and chemical agents. This type of system can be readily programmed as needed for the early detection of new types of threats.

The new mail-sorter collection and detection system also incorporates another technology developed by McFarland, a shrouded probe, which is a key component in monitoring the emission of airborne particles from the stacks of nuclear power plants.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Researchers Respond To Threat, Look For Anthrax." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030213071903.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2003, February 13). Researchers Respond To Threat, Look For Anthrax. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030213071903.htm
Texas A&M University. "Researchers Respond To Threat, Look For Anthrax." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030213071903.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins