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This paper highlights the utilization of biotechnology embedded in fauna and flora for the detection, exploration and monitoring of surface and underground water and mining of minerals; which is much cheaper than using electronic equipments and gadgets. The examples are the biotechnology embedded in Stygobites (in relation to stygophiles and stygoxenes) is utilized in the detection of contamination of the interstitial zone by heavy metals in some sectors of the Rhone River (France), which has surpassed that of electronic pollution monitoring systems. Coal deposits were detected in Sweden from the presence of Viscaria aplina flower in fields and plants such as Stackhouse tyronii and Hybanthus floribundus were used in Australia to identify lead and nickel respectively. Plants that were found to have high levels of Selenium are used to locate Uranium. Professional water locators use special electroseismic equipment and ground penetrating radar to detect underground water. These are very expensive, high tech and require a lot of skill and training to operate the equipments. These can be substituted by biotechnology e.g. a well-developed termitarium is usually built around an underground spring. Furthermore, the biotechnology embedded in aquatic insects of the family Heteroptera, e.g. Sigara (which needs water for its reproductive cycle), and Elephants (that use infrasound to detect underground water), has led to the development of a water vapor detection device. In addition, geologists have for long been able to cheaply conduct soil exploration to detect minerals by simply analyzing the soil beneath termitariums. This same technique lead to the identification of the Vila Manica copper deposit in Mozambique in 1973 as well as the Jwaneng Diamond mine. The biotechnology in Marmots is also utilized to explore unearth gold. German Shepherd dogs have been used to locate nickel sulphides and gold orebodies. The least money needed for an upstream mechanized exploration in Africa is about $45.32 million while the highest investment needed for the same mineral exploration using biological means is about only $10,000. Consequently the biotechnology embedded in fauna and flora should be considered as cheap replacements for machines for the sustainable development of Nigeria.
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Author(s): Aliyu Umar Mohammed
Biotechnology, Fauna, Flora, mechanized exploration, biological exploration, minerals, monitors., physiology, cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, biotechnology, bioinformatics