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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Fast-Acting Bioagent Detector Developed in Wales

The Welsh branch of a Germany security company has led development of a portable device that within minutes could reveal a bioterror agent that had been introduced into drinking water, the Cardiff Western Mail reported on Saturday (see GSN, May 15, 2009).

“Growing concern about drinking water safety and the highly distributive nature of water supplies highlights the importance of being able to detect intentional contamination very quickly, so that it can be put right and the number of people affected by it identified," according to Robert Aitchson of EADS subsidiary Cassidian Systems.

“Examples would be hospital water supplies, where the intentional introduction of bacteria into a vulnerable environment could lead to a very serious situation, and in the food industry,” he added.

Cassidian collaborated with the German firm Alois Friedberger in developing the Filter Cytrometry system. Operational testing in fall 2011 proved the device could deliver quick, valid results using laser technology, Aitchson said.

The technology could also be used for detecting biowarfare materials spread through the air. The system is due to undergo additional trials before being made available for purchase in roughly 12 months (Sion Barry, Western Mail, April 7).

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