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Seawater can turn into drinking water for millions around the world without access to Clean Water

Graphene-oxide membranes have already been shown to be effective at filtering small nanoparticles, organic molecules and large salts, but they had not yet been effective in filtering out common salts

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An Indian ragpicker boy drinks water from a tap at an automobile yard on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Wednesday, March 20, 2013. The UN estimates that more than one in six people worldwide do not have access to 20-50 liters (5-13 gallons) of safe freshwater a day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking and cleaning. (AP Photo/Channi Anand), VOA
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April 4, 2017: A new method could turn seawater into drinking water for millions around the world without access to clean water.

Researchers at the University of Manchester in England say they’ve successfully used graphene-oxide membranes to filter common salts from seawater, turning it into drinking water more affordably than current desalination techniques.

Graphene-oxide membranes have already been shown to be effective at filtering small nanoparticles, organic molecules and large salts, but they had not yet been effective in filtering out common salts.

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“This is the first clear-cut experiment in this regime,” said professor Rahul Nair, at the University of Manchester. “We also demonstrate that there are realistic possibilities to scale up the described approach and mass produce graphene-based membranes with required sieve sizes.

“Realization of scalable membranes with uniform pore size down to atomic scale is a significant step forward and will open new possibilities for improving the efficiency of desalination technology,” he said.

The United Nations says that by 2025, 14 percent of the world’s population will suffer water scarcity.

Previous attempts to use the membranes saw smaller salts passing through, researchers said, but the Manchester group discovered that the size of the pores on the membrane could be “precisely controlled” allowing it to block smaller salts.

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Specifically, the researchers said the graphene-oxide membranes have tiny capillaries that stop the flow of salts, while allowing fresh water to pass through.

“The developed membranes are not only useful for desalination, but the atomic scale tunability of the pore size also opens new opportunity to fabricate membranes with on-demand filtration capable of filtering out ions according to their sizes,” said co-lead author Jijo Abraham.

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The study was published Monday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. (VOA)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)