01 Jun '11, 4pm
Virtual Fish Use Fat to Soak Up Toxins from Oregon River
The research is important to find out what substances are making their way from farm land or households to water ways, which can then affect the salmon and steelhead hatchery within the river. By keeping a close eye even on the tiniest amounts of pollutants -- from pesticides to soaps or pharmaceuticals -- researchers hope to stop problems before they can gain momentum. These virtual fish can help both environmentalists and concerned farmers or politicians stay ahead of the curve in keeping the ecosystem safe. As OPB reports, for now, the sampling done with virtual fish is experimental; however, as the technology improves and determining the levels of certain pollutants found in the water and captured by the tool becomes more accurate, the data may be used to improve policies and regulations regarding water quality.