Dr K Kondiah Academic thrust: Microbiology and biotechnology ...

mumpsimuskneesBiotechnology

Feb 12, 2013 (4 years and 4 months ago)

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Dr K Kondiah

A
cademic thrust: Microbiology and biotechnology
Research field: Biosensing and bioremediation
Did you know that nearly 1 billion people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water? Mining
activities is one of the main contributors to water pollution in countries like South Africa leading to a
decline in already scarce water resources. Local communities are forced to consume acidic water
contaminated with heavy metals, radionuclides and chemicals. Such hazardous agents are potent
carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens and are highly toxic to plants, animals and microorganisms.
Conventional techniques used to treat mining water are costly and ill-equipped to deal with the high
volumes of decant generated. Additionally, there is a necessity for regulation of mine water prior to its
release into local water resources. The group is interested in investigating alternative treatment
strategies through bioremediation and developing biosensing systems that are innovative,
cost-effective and easy to implement. Current research includes investigation into the use of
metallophilic microorganisms for the biosorption/reduction of heavy metal ions in acid mine decant and
the development of a portable electrochemical biosensor using metalloregulatory proteins for in situ
monitoring of heavy metals in water.
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