Dr. Jaime Octavio Guerra-Pulido (ICN-UNAM)
TRACE is an international collaboration formed for a group of physicists, engineers and biologist. It started as a group of physicists applying astrophysical and high energy particle physics techniques to detect lead contamination in water and products of human consumption. A goal of the collaboration is the construction of LABChico. It will be a shallow underground laboratory to make research, perform academic activities and train human resources in low background techniques. Topographical, geomechanical and gamma flux studies have been performed to find the most suitable site, to determine mine’s security and the background of the laboratory. LABChico facility will be provided with high purity germanium (HPGe) detectors and muon flux detectors. HPGe detectors has been characterized. Besides, a computational program has been developed used to identify isotopes through gamma ray spectroscopy performed inside LABChico. Its methodology and results are commented and, at last, the most current innovation of the collaboration is Plombox which is in development. Plombox is going to be an open hardware and software device used to measure contamination of lead in water on site. It will be able to measure concentration of lead in water using genetically modified bacteria. Reports will be sent to remote web server using a dedicated app. This collaboration has been founded for the Global Challenges Research Fund of the United Kingdom and it is supported by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Centro Atómico de Bariloche, Boulby Underground Laboratory and the Royal Holloway, University of London.