Researchers at the University of Central Florida -- one a nanomaterials specialist, the other an expert in water filtration systems -- have been given a grant by the US National Science Foundation to develop a portable water filtration device using nanoparticles to kill bacteria. The goal is to develop a system that can be easily and widely deployed after a disaster.
The key to the process is a naturally created nanoparticle that can kill bacteria that foul membranes used as filters to produce drinking water. In catastrophic situations such as Hurricane Katrina or the recent earthquake in Pakistan, the membranes become so fouled by bacteria that they become unusable for water treatment. [...] Taylor, who has conducted water treatment research since 1975, said drinking water could be consistently produced even from wastewater if the fouling bacteria could be killed.
The catch? They need to show results in six months. Then again, it sounds like they haven't heard of the Lifestraw -- maybe somebody should tell them.