Scientists Create Method to Test Food and Drugs for Purity
Millions of people in developing countries have to be on guard against contaminated food and medicine. Some products could be harmful -- even deadly.
In Nigeria, brake fluid was found in a product designed to reduce teething pain in babies. A few years ago, the chemical melamine was discovered in Chinese baby food. And in Kenya, powerful antibiotic drugs were found to contain talcum powder.
Now, a group of scientists in the United States has found a way to test products before they can cause death or injury. And the process is not costly.
There are many ways for drugs and food to be contaminated, including a manufacturer's mistake or problems with how the product is stored, or someone could even add a harmful substance.
Marya Lieberman teaches chemistry at Notre Dame University in Indiana. She is working to give druggists in developing nations an easy way to identify drug contamination.
Her process is called PAD -- short for Paper Analytical Device. It replaces costly machines that developing countries may not have.
The PAD project began six years ago as a partnership between Notre Dame and St. Mary's College in Maryland. Researchers developed a paper card test for medicines. Each of the card's 12 lines has a different chemical. When a drug is placed across the lines and the card is put in water, a change in color will show if the drug is safe.
Lieberman says she and the other researchers are developing cards to test for lead, iodine and even liquid waste.
Jamie Luther is a graduate student at Notre Dame. She is working on a card that will show if milk contains anything harmful.
"There are tests that are published for people at home to mix chemicals to test their own milk. I thought to myself, ‘that's so cumbersome. People shouldn't be handling acids in their home. They shouldn't mix dangerous chemicals with their hands.'"
Lieberman's team has worked with 18 other universities across the United States to discover the most common contaminants. The team uses special machines to test the drugs collected from pharmacies throughout the developing world.
Nicholas Myers is another Notre Dame graduate student. He says before he joined the project he did not know how big a problem contaminated drugs are.
"I just took it for granted that chemical analysis could happen anywhere. I didn't know the extent to which low- and middle-income countries did not have the capacity to do chemical testing."
A start-up company in New York is developing a smartphone app to help with testing of food products and drugs. The company says testers can take a picture with their phone and then compare it to information in the computer program.
"If we can't increase the capacity of analytical labs in the developing world, maybe we can come up with a way to bring that technology in a portable form that will be usable in the field."
I'm Marsha James.
1.guard against 防止；提防
The armed forces were on high alert to guard against any retaliation.
2.chemical testing 化学测试
Chemical testing showed that over the two years before her death, she moved about every two months.
3.a group of 一群；一组
Suddenly the door opened and a group of children burst in.
4.antibiotic drugs 抗菌药物
He has an allergy to antibiotic drugs, which is noted on his medical record.
1.If we can't increase the capacity of analytical labs in the developing world, maybe we can come up with a way to bring that technology in a portable form that will be usable in the field.
come up with 提出；赶上
Several of the members have come up with suggestions of their own.
The president was moved to come up with these suggestions after the hearings.
2.I just took it for granted that chemical analysis could happen anywhere.
took it for granted 理所应当
I took it for granted that they would not come.
I took it for granted that you would stay with us.
发展中国家的民众需要防范被污染的食品和药品 。有的产品是有害的甚至会危及生命 。
尼日利亚的研究人员在婴儿减缓牙痛的药品中发现了制动液 。几年前，中国出现了婴儿奶粉中添加化学物质三聚氰胺的案例 。肯尼亚也出现了强效抗生素中添加滑石粉的情况 。
如今，美国一组科学家发现了一种方法，可在产品造成伤亡前对其进行检测 。检测的费用低廉 。
玛丽亚·利伯曼（Marya Lieberman）在印第安纳州的圣母大学教授化学科目 。她致力于向发展中国家的药剂师传授一种鉴定药品污染的简单方法 。
她的检测过程被称为PAD——试纸分析方法的简称 。它可以替代发展中国家少有的昂贵检测机器 。
6年前，圣母大学和马里兰州的圣玛利亚学院建立合作关系后，PAD项目正式启动 。研究人员们发明了一种检测药品的纸质卡片 。每张卡片上有12条线，分别代表着不同的化学物质 。将药品放置在线条上，之后将纸卡放入水中，颜色的变化即可知晓药品是否安全 。
杰米·卢瑟（Jamie Luther）是圣母大学的研究生 。她正在研究一种可测试牛奶是否含有任何有害物质的纸卡 。
“虽然已经有很多种测试方法，人们在家里使用混合化学物质就能测试牛奶的安全性 。可我心想，‘这也太麻烦了 。人们最好不要在家用双手接触各种酸类物质，尤其是一些危险的化学物质 。’”
利伯曼的研究团队与美国的其他18所大学合作寻找常见的污染物 。该团队使用特殊机器检测从发展中国家的多个药房中收集到的药品 。
尼古拉斯·迈尔斯（Nicholas Myers）也是圣母大学的研究生 。他表示，在加入该项目前，他从未意识到药品污染问题如此严重 。
“我只是想当然地认为，化学成分分析的研究随处可见 。然而却不了解低收入和中等收入的国家检测药品的能力有限 。”
纽约一家创业公司正在研发一款可检测产品和药品安全的智能手机应用程序 。该公司称，测试员可用手机拍照，然后与计算机程序中的信息进行比对 。