ISU Headlines

Cyanide detection topic of Oct. 29 ‘ISU in Motion’

Posted October 25, 2007

“ISU in Motion,” an in-house radio show hosted and moderated by Idaho State University President Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., will air Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. on KISU 91.1 FM, the University’s public radio station.

Guests for the show include ISU chemistry professor Jeff Rosentreter, Ph.D., and ISU chemistry student and researcher Moises Moreno.    The program, which began in March, broadcasts the last Monday of every month.

Rosentreter, named an ISU Master Teacher in April, will discuss his research in devising new methods of detecting cyanide. Specifically, Rosentreter and his team of researchers have developed a sensor that instantaneously measures toxin levels in water and targets the specific form of cyanide toxic to humans and other organisms.

The device is also inexpensive and portable, as opposed to existing instruments that require large samples, involve lengthy wait-times for results, require specially-trained operators, and have poor precision.

The new device can be used to monitor cyanide produced by mining and manufacturing operations that annually use some 1.4 million tons of cyanide worldwide. U.S. troops can also use it an anti-terrorism detection of the toxin.

Moreno is currently working on the cyanide detector project as well, gaining valuable research skills as an undergraduate. His studies and research in the chemistry department will culminate with a master’s degree in 2008 as part of the five-year BS/MS program offered by the University.

Throughout the rest of the semester, President Vailas will interview a variety of individuals with ISU connections, on a range of topics that will illustrate how ISU is making a difference for Idaho, the nation and the world.