18 September 2006

Anti-terrorist fish

Here's something I could never have imagined.

San Francisco, New York, Washington and other big cities are using bluegills – also known as sunfish or bream – as a sort of canary in a coal mine to safeguard their drinking water.
They're so sensitive to contamination they beat the other sensors hands down.
New York City has been testing its system since 2002 and is seeking to expand it. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection reported at least one instance in which the system caught a toxin before it made it into the water supply: The fish noticed a diesel spill two hours earlier than any of the agency's other detection devices.

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