Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sponge-like gel concealed in hand can render contaminated water safe for consumption

Cut off from civilization in the wake of a disaster, survivors must contend with only contaminated water to drink - putting them at risk for typhoid or poisoning. This was especially true after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, where thousands were left without water to drink. Now - a new technique can render brackish water safe to drink, thanks to a sponge-like gel in the hand. Safe water is as quick is now quick as a flick of the wrist.

The new, experimental gel embedded with silver nano-particles can absorb impure water, kill bacteria within seconds and release drinkable water with just a quick squeeze.

The new, experimental gel embedded with silver nano-particles can absorb impure water, kill bacteria within seconds and release drinkable water with just a quick squeeze.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Drinking water, disaster, cryogel, new invention


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An interdisciplinary group of researchers from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States worked together to develop an inexpensive and practical method of water purification.

The new, experimental gel embedded with silver nano-particles can absorb impure water, kill bacteria within seconds and release drinkable water with just a quick squeeze.

"These cryogels not only purify the water in the sense of removing particulates -- and not only make it look good -- but they kill the pathogens," William Krantz, a visiting professor at the Singapore Membrane Technology Center at Nanyang Technological University says.

One of the contributors to the study, Krantz added "And they do it very fast."

When tested against Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, two harmful bacterial strains commonly encountered following natural disasters, the gel passed with flying colors.

The amount of bacteria in the treated water was reduced by a factor of between 100,000 and 1 million, depending on the amount of silver nano-particles embedded in the cryogel -- after only 15 seconds in the gel.

Krantz says he'll drink to that. "In terms of the kind of contaminated water supplies that we encounter in disaster relief operations, it's way more than adequate," he says.

Just three grams of the gel material can absorb and disinfect half a liter of water with one squeeze. The concentration of silver particles falls well within the limit for safe drinking.

After use, the gel quickly returns to its original form and can be reused effectively at least 20 times.

"The combination of the cryogel with a high porosity, very good mechanical and water-absorption properties, and the capacity to disperse a fine preparation of silver nano-particles can be a very promising device to provide water purification in [case of] emergency," Dr. Daniela Maria Cirillo, head of the Emerging Bacterial Pathogens Unit at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute says.

The researchers say personal-sized gel treatments would cost less than 50 cents each and that emergency-aid workers could easily deliver them by airdrop in places where contaminated water is found.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Health

Brain reset: Scientists uncover unusual way to get rid of brain disorders Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By implanting special cells that emit GABA into the brains of adult mice scientists found a way to cure certain brain disorders, like lazy eye. Initially an almost impossible endeavor, the experiment led a team of scientists to a way to reset the brain and basically ... continue reading


Health in the United States: Which cities are the healthiest? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The American College of Sports Medicine has recently released their 2015 American Fitness Index, naming the top three fittest and the least fit cities in the entire United States. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -  Among the thousands of cities surveyed ... continue reading


Nebraska orders STATE OF EMERGENCY over H5N2 avian flu virus Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A type of avian flu, and unfortunately the most lethal to hit the United States, has posed several concerns for farmers and scientists. So far, the H5N2 strain of the bird flu virus has already killed 15,000 turkeys in Minnesota alone. Now, over 33 million birds in 16 ... continue reading


Why a handshake just might save your life Watch

Image of Handshakes may be able to determine your risk for heart disease or other illnesses.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Are you worried about a heart attack or stroke? Well there may be an easy way to tell if you are at greater risk for either of these diseases, are near death or seriously ill, and you don't need anything more than a hand and a partner. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Are you afraid of needles? Scientist believes he found way to reduce injection pain Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A lot of people, the young and old alike, are really frightened of getting injections, even just the thought of it. The good news is that scientists have discovered a simple answer. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Spanish scientists believe that holding ... continue reading


Woman gives shocking birth to baby born with bladder outside of body Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Born with a rare congenital defect, Baby Lila underwent a unique surgery, shortly after she was born with her bladder outside the body. This defect was detected when the doctor couldn't find her bladder in a sonogram conducted during the 22-week prenatal appointment. ... continue reading


What do healthy people eat for breakfast? 11 healthy breakfast choices from dietitians and experts Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What we eat in the mornings have an effect on our energy levels throughout the day. Here, registered dietitians, personal trainers, health editors and nutritionists, suggest healthy breakfasts for a healthy morning start, with some help from BuzzFeed. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


NOT-SO HAPPY PILLS: Half a million patients die every year from psychiatric drugs Watch

Image of Professor Peter Gotzsche, research director at Denmark's Nordic Cochrane Center says the use of most antidepressants and dementia drugs could be discontinued without harm.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Danish scientist has come forward to proclaim that mood enhancers, "happy pills" and other psychiatric drugs are frequently deadly - killing half a million people a year. Furthermore, he says that these medications are usually ineffective - not producing the ... continue reading


British man discovers shocking and disturbing item in phlegm he coughed out Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A man from Britain woke up to a very unlikely and disgusting surprise. After waking up, the man felt as though he had to let out a cough due to the "large phlegm ball" he was feeling inside. To his surprise, he found something completely more nauseating than mucus. ... continue reading


Good Morning America's Robin Roberts speaks on her near death medical experiences Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After bravely beating breast cancer, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts developed a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) that nearly claimed her life after a bone marrow transplant in 2012. She recalled her near death story and how she was saved by the pleas of a nurse ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 11:4, 5, 7
4 Yahweh in his holy temple! Yahweh, his throne is in ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:20-25
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 23rd, 2015 Image

St. John Baptist Rossi
May 23: This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter