University of Montana researcher’s new device could make detecting invasive mussels more affordable

University of Montana researcher’s new device could make detecting invasive mussels more affordable

News Type: State Source: Helena Independent Record
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A device built at the the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station and developed by one of UM’s researchers can detect the DNA of invasive mussels from water samples.

Tom Bansak, assistant director at the station, said the DNA Tracker represents a breakthrough in science in more than one way. It’s small and affordable, he said, some $50,000 and the size of a small suitcase, compared to $250,000 and the heft of a chest freezer for a more traditional tracker.

“This is a new technology and a new tool in the toolbox in the fight against invasive mussels,” Bansak said Tuesday. He also said it’s an example of the contribution science makes to people’s lives. “Research can be esoteric, but this is an example of how research has real practical benefits to society.”