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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)

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Experts Claim, Climate Change Can Affect Food, Water Security

Lauding IIT-Mandi for hosting the workshop, Rajeevan said the Himalayas were one of the world's sensitive hotspots to climate change along with the Artic region.

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Ramesh P. Singh, workshop Coordinator and visiting faculty at IIT-Mandi, said: "We have to understand climate change and its impact as it is very important for the future generations." Pixabay

Climate change can affect the food, water and energy security of a region, Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary M. Rajeevan said here on Friday.

“Climate is changing and global warming is happening due to the release of greenhouse gases. In many parts of the world, including India, the effects of climate change are being seen especially in mountain regions like Mandi,” he said.

He was speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology-Mandi that hosted an International Workshop on Climate Change and Extreme Events in the Indian Himalayan Region.

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In many parts of the world, including India, the effects of climate change are being seen especially in mountain regions like Mandi,” he said. Pixabay

The workshop was aimed at understanding the effects of climate change, melting of glaciers, increased frequency of extreme events, atmospheric pollution and pollution due to the burning of crop residue in the Himalayan region and applications of remote sensing.

Lauding IIT-Mandi for hosting the workshop, Rajeevan said the Himalayas were one of the world’s sensitive hotspots to climate change along with the Artic region.

“The Himalayan region is experiencing increasing variability in weather in the last many years. This could lead to further snow accumulation over this region and more research is needed to understand this phenomenon. By studying data, there is also evidence that the number of extreme warm days and nights has increased in this Himalayan region, which are clear effects of global warming.”

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The workshop was aimed at understanding the effects of climate change, melting of glaciers, increased frequency of extreme events, atmospheric pollution and pollution due to the burning of crop residue in the Himalayan region and applications of remote sensing. Pixabay

In his presidential address, IIT-Mandi Director Timothy A. Gonsalves said: “We have 15 professors from six different disciplines in IIT-Mandi who are working on climate change. This workshop saw the participation of faculty from various disciplines and is an example of the inter-disciplinary and collaborative environment on campus.”

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Ramesh P. Singh, workshop Coordinator and visiting faculty at IIT-Mandi, said: “We have to understand climate change and its impact as it is very important for the future generations.”

The workshop has participation from all over India, besides Europe, and the US with over 90 speakers from across India. (IANS)