If you've experienced Montezuma's revenge, you know what water can do. But a billion people have to drink water like this every day.
When you turn on your kitchen faucet, you want to be pretty darn sure clean water will come out. Yet in many of the world's less developed countries and communities, most water receives inadequate treatment, or none at all...causing up to five million deaths every year.
With all those problems, you'd think people in those areas would never drink from the tap. Problem is, clean water is nearly impossible for them to get. Not only is it pricey, at about twenty to forty dollars a month, but it's also rarely available, as a result of undeveloped treatment and delivery systems.
But scientists may have found a good solution to this critical problem...researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a device called a UV tube. When drinking water is run through the tube, a UV light suspended above the water damages the proteins and DNA of contaminating bacteria and microorganisms, making them unable to reproduce or, possibly, even survive.
At a total cost of about four dollars a month or less, this new device, just becoming available to those areas that really need it, could save everyone a lot of trips... to the bathroom, the hospital, and the bank. I'm Eric Phillips.
"Imagine That!" covers projects funded by the U.S. government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you by you! Learn more at nsf.gov.