Safe drinking water.

While it is something most Americans take for granted, in many parts of the world it is sought after and in many cases almost impossible to find or afford.

but not a drop to drinkHowever, scientists from South Africa’s Stellenbosch University claim that they may have a viable solution, inspired by their love of tea.

They have developed water filters made with ultra-thin nanoscale fibers, which filter out harmful contaminants, and bacteria-killing grains of carbon – all in the shape of a teabag.  According to the researchers, each filter can effectively clean up to a liter of even the most heavily polluted water.

Since the “teabags” are thrown away once used, it is also fairly remarkable that the nanofibers will disintegrate in liquids after a few days and will have no environmental impact.

But probably the most important factor is that each filter is projected to cost less than half a cent, so it is as economical as it is effective. (See a video about the project here.)

A simple, yet elegant solution to a tremendous problem – thanks to hard work and the love of tea!