Medical Diagnosis and Mining have What in Common?

Mineral deposits are traditionally detected by chemical analysis of soil by drill holes created at potential mine sites, a process that can take many months. Geoscience BC in Canada has started to try a new method for detection: genomic sequencing. Genomic or DNA sequencing is used for biological research for forensic biology, medical diagnosis, and virology. New technologies have made it possible for the rapid speed sequencing of complete DNA sequences, or genomes of animal, plant, and microbial species. The idea for mineralization detection is looking at the changes in the micro-organisms living in soils over buried mineral deposits.  The benefit of this technology is that there will be real-time results and small hand-held units can be used to analyze small-size soil samples. This technology is in early days of research, but if successful can provide a cheaper and less disruptive method for mineral deposit detection.

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