UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that 1 in 3 people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water. In places where safe drinking water is scarce, nutrition-related problems are prevalent, children have trouble staying focused in school, and diseases caused by bacteria and unhygienic practices are common.
Solving this global problem is one of the greatest challenges of our time, which is why many scientists from around the world are researching all kinds of methods for making unsafe water drinkable.
Among them are Dr. Vishal Mishra and PhD student Veer Singh from the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU). Recently, the two scientists have published a paper in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, describing their discovery of a bacteria capable of separating toxic metal from wastewater and making it safe to drink.
They named the bacteria “Microbacterium paraoxydans strain VSVM IIT (BHU),” and described it as very effective when it comes to the elimination of hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant present in many water sources around the world.
“It is very effective for removal of hexavalent chromium from wastewater compared to other conventional methods,” said Dr. Mishra. “This bacterial strain showed fast growth rate in the Hexavalent chromium Cr (VI) containing aqueous medium and gets easily separated from the aqueous medium after the treatment process”.
Treating wastewater using the newly discovered bacteria doesn’t require expensive equipment and chemicals, so it can be done at scale at a reasonable price.
In India, the country from where the two scientists come from, less than 50 percent of the population has access to safely managed drinking water, and water contamination is present in more than 1.96 million dwellings. Hopefully, this and other similar discoveries will eventually help reduce these numbers to zero.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.