August 1, 2008

Pregnancy test for sea urchins

During my Wednesday visit to Evonik Degussa's groundbreaking ceremony for its new alkoxide (used as biodiesel catalyst) plant in Mobile, Alabama, they told me about their high-tech wastewater monitoring system - using sea urchins to monitor the site's waste water effluent.

According to Evonik, sea urchin bioassay determines the concentration of wastewater versus potential toxicity of a substance by measuring its effect on a living organism such as sea urchins. The company has been using this testing for decades.

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