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No. 106: Jul-Aug 1996

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Ichthyometers Measure Pollution

At the Centre International de l'Eau de Nancy, French scientists are putting the South American fish Apteronotus albifrons to work. This electric fish alters its self-generated electrical pulses as its aqueous environment changes.

"Generally, when the fish is cruising around, it emits a continuous series of low-amplitude electric pulses at 1000 Hertz. But the researchers found that when the fish were exposed to certain pollutants in their holding tanks, the frequency and form of the electrical signals changed in characteristic ways that could be measured consistently. The electric fish, which are particularly responsive to potassium cyanide, phenols, and trichloroethylene, are soon expected to begin charging their way through French drinking-water treatment facilities."

(Anonymous; "Zapping through Pollution," BioScience, 46:312, 1996)

From Science Frontiers #106, JUL-AUG 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987