Scientists at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, have created "revolutionary" compact water-treatment units that can be transported by truck and can purify water in less than 24 hours. This is a huge improvement over current filtration systems which are gigantic and slow.
The technology behind this innovation? The "bio-reactors" use commonly-occurring bacteria that, in the right combination, both clean the water and dispose of the "sludge" that results. It's an impressive example of natural ecological processes being harnessed in powerful new ways.
The research was originally supported by Department of Defense money (of course), but these filtration systems could be as useful in Haiti as they are in Afghanistan.
One positive side-effect of our government pumping zillions of dollars into military research is that they sometimes come up with breakthroughs that have incredible lifesaving potential.
Via Danger Room.