The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has received US Patent No. 8,048,623, "Compositions, products, methods and systems to monitor water and other ecosystems." The described device may include oligonucleotides immobilized at known locations on a substrate as an array, so that each location on the array is an oligonucleotide having a sequence derived from a single, predetermined operational taxonomic unit, and where at least one sequence on the array is associated with the presence or absence of mercury.

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