A proof-of-concept device that can detect novel molecules in seawater using “smell” has been reported.
The latest research was reported in the journal ACS Central Science. According to the team behind the device, the unit sniffs the sea water and traps dissolved compounds for analysis.
The device can study a wide range of fragile systems like reefs and caves without disturbing them. Since a teaspoonful of seawater has a wide range of compounds dissolved in it, the new device can play an integral role in identifying new organisms and potentially new life-saving compounds and drugs.
The new device is small and can be easily operated by a single diver. It works by pumping seawater through a series of pads. These, in turn, absorb the dissolved molecules and retain them for later analysis by scientists.
You can find the original research here.