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Indian-Origin Researchers at York University in Toronto find ‘sweet’ solution to Purify Contaminated Water

The paper strip solution called "DipTreat" is laced with sugar to kill E. coli bacteria in contaminated water

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Toronto, Nov 15, 2016: Indian-origin researchers at York University in Toronto have developed a solution for water treatment that uses only naturally available antimicrobial substances and sugar.

The paper strip solution called “DipTreat” is laced with sugar to kill E. coli bacteria in contaminated water.

“We were able to efficiently remove almost 90 percent of bacteria by dipping the special paper strip, DipTreat, in contaminated water samples,” said one of the researchers Sushanta Mitra.

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The discovery will be key to developing a new generation of inexpensive and portable water treatment devices, with human health benefits around the world – from the far north of Canada to the remote villages of India, Mitra said.

“Now with DipTreat, we have learned it will take less than two hours to fish, trap and kill E. coli in water,” Mitra, Professor at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

While using porous paper strips to trap the bacterial cells, for killing, the researchers used an antimicrobial agent extracted from the seeds of moringa — commonly known as drumstick or horseradish tree.

As a result, the DipTreat solution for water treatment uses only naturally available antimicrobial substances and sugar, with minimal environmental and health impact.

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Currently, popular water treatment systems use silver nanoparticles and clays, whose long term impact on human health is yet to be fully understood, according Mitra.

So far, DipTreat is effective for small quantities of water. For example, someone who is hiking can collect a glass of water and then dip the paper strips to purify it before drinking.

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The researchers believe that the invention could lead to a much greater impact.

Published in the journal Environmental Science Water Research & Technology, the study is co-authored by Mitra, Saumyadeb Dasgupta and Naga Siva Gunda. (IANS)

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NASA Invented A Tool To Predict Floods Due To Ice Melt

It looks at the Earth's spin and gravitational effects to predict water "redistribution"

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Woman Sues NASA Over Keeping Moon Dust Gifted to Her by Neil Armstrong
Woman Sues NASA Over Keeping Moon Dust Gifted to Her by Neil Armstrong. Pixabay

NASA scientists have developed a tool to forecast which cities are vulnerbale to flooding due to melting of ice in a warming climate.

It looks at the Earth’s spin and gravitational effects to predict how water will be “redistributed” globally, BBC reported.

“This provides, for each city, a picture of which glaciers, ice sheets, (and) ice caps are of specific importance,” the researchers were quoted as saying.

The research, detailed in the journal Science Advances, could provide scientists a way to determine which ice sheets they should be “most worried about”.

The researchers explained that as land ice is lost to the oceans, both the Earth’s gravitational and rotational potentials are perturbed, resulting in strong spatial patterns in sea-level rise (SLR). The pattern of sea-level change has been termed sea-level fingerprints.

“We lack robust forecasting models for future ice changes, which diminishes our ability to use these fingerprints to accurately predict local sea-level (LSL) changes,” the researchers said.

So they set out to determine the exact gradient of sea-level fingerprints with respect to local variations in the ice thickness of all of the world’s ice drainage systems.

NASA
NASA, Flickr

“By exhaustively mapping these fingerprint gradients, we form a new diagnosis tool, henceforth referred to as gradient fingerprint mapping (GFM), that readily allows for improved assessments of future coastal inundation or emergence,” the study said.

The researchers demonstrated that for Antarctica and Greenland, changes in the predictions of inundation at major port cities depend on the location of the drainage system.

For example, in London, local sea-level changes is significantly affected by changes on the western part of the Greenland ice sheet, whereas in New York, such changes are greatly sensitive to changes in the northeastern portions of the ice sheet, the tool showed. (IANS)