Biological approaches for addressing the grand challenge of providing access to clean drinking water
AffiliationThe University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA
Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8286, USA
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CitationRiley et al. Journal of Biological Engineering 2011, 5:2 http://www.jbioleng.org/content/5/1/2
Rights© 2011 Riley et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
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AbstractThe U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently published a document presenting "Grand Challenges for Engineering". This list was proposed by leading engineers and scientists from around the world at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Fourteen topics were selected for these grand challenges, and at least seven can be addressed using the tools and methods of biological engineering. Here we describe how biological engineers can address the challenge of providing access to clean drinking water. This issue must be addressed in part by removing or inactivating microbial and chemical contaminants in order to properly deliver water safe for human consumption. Despite many advances in technologies this challenge is expanding due to increased pressure on fresh water supplies and to new opportunities for growth of potentially pathogenic organisms.
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