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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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Representational Image, Pixabay

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)

Next Story

Here’s Why Shaking Head To Remove Water From Ears Can Cause Brain Damage

The research mainly focuses on the acceleration required to get the water out of the ear canal

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Brain Damage
Researchers at Cornell University and Virginia Tech in US, revealed that shaking the head to free trapped water can cause Brain Damage. Pixabay

Shaking head is one of the most common methods people use to get rid of water in their ears, but it can can also cause complications as Researchers have found that trapped water in the ear canals can cause infection and Brain Damage.

Researchers at Cornell University and Virginia Tech in US, revealed that shaking the head to free trapped water can cause brain damage in small children.

“Our research mainly focuses on the acceleration required to get the water out of the ear canal,” said Indian-origin researcher and study author Anuj Baskota from Cornell University.

“The critical acceleration that we obtained experimentally on glass tubes and 3D printed ear canals was around the range of 10 times the force of gravity for infant ear sizes, which could cause damage to the brain,” Baskota said.

For adults, the acceleration was lower due to the larger diameter of the ear canals. They said the overall volume and position of the water in the canal changes the acceleration needed to remove it.

“From our experiments and theoretical model, we figured out that surface tension of the fluid is one of the crucial factors promoting the water to get stuck in ear canals,” said Baskota.

Brain Damage
Shaking head is one of the most common methods people use to get rid of water in their ears, but it can can also cause complications as researchers have found that trapped water in the ear canals can cause infection and Brain Damage. Pixabay

Luckily, the researchers said there is a solution that does not involve any head shaking.

“Presumably, putting a few drops of a liquid with lower surface tension than water, like alcohol or vinegar, in the ear would reduce the surface tension force allowing the water to flow out,” Baskota said.

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The study was presented at the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics 72nd Annual Meeting on November 23 in Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, US. (IANS)