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Picture of the Day

A rose inspires smart way to collect and purify water

The rose may be one of the most iconic symbols of the fragility of love in popular culture, but now the flower could hold more than just symbolic value. A new device for collecting and purifying water was inspired by a rose and, while more engineered than enchanted, is a dramatic improvement on current methods. Each flower-like structure costs less than 2 cents and can produce more than half a gallon of water per hour per square meter. In a new paper, National Science Foundation-funded researchers outlined how an origami rose provided the inspiration for developing a new kind of solar-steaming system made from layered, black paper sheets shaped into petals. Attached to a stem-like tube that collects untreated water from any water source, the 3D rose shape makes it easier for the structure to collect and retain more liquid. Current solar-steaming technologies are usually expensive, bulky and produce limited results. The team's method uses inexpensive materials that are portable and lightweight. Oh, and it also looks just like a black-petaled rose in a glass jar.

Visit Website | Image credit: Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin