Show Details

Water Roundup

March 14, 2008

Water leaves a signature at the scene of a crime and scientists purify water with nano-materials.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Is your hair a travel journal? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Hair contains water. And every city and town in the world has water with a unique chemical signature. That led University of Utah scientists to wonder whether a strand of hair could reveal where its owner had been drinking. They studied hairs collected in 65 cities and were able to match the hair to the city over eighty-five percent of the time. The researchers say the technique could be a powerful new forensic tool.

Millions of people die each year from water-borne diseases. Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a new method of purifying water that could save many of these people. The method uses silica, or beach sand, coated with a newly developed nano-material. Stirring the particles in water for one hour removes most of the germs and pollutants. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.