Water filter from the sapwood in pine tree branches

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 09:00 in Biology & Nature

If you've run out of drinking water during a lakeside camping trip, there's a simple solution: Break off a branch from the nearest pine tree, peel away the bark, and slowly pour lake water through the stick. The improvised filter should trap any bacteria, producing fresh, uncontaminated water. In fact, scientists have discovered that this low-tech filtration system can produce up to four liters of drinking water a day -- enough to quench the thirst of a typical person. The researchers demonstrate that a small piece of sapwood can filter out more than 99 percent of the bacteria E. coli from water.

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