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The seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree have been used to purify water and clean crockery since the days of ancient Egypt, but up until now scientists weren't sure exactly how they worked. Thanks to a new paper published in the journal Langmuir by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, part of the mystery has now been solved.

It had already been established that a protein inside the Egyptian seeds caused bacteria to clump together in the water and die, sinking to the bottom of the container to leave the water largely clear. But the latest discovery reveals how this is done: the academics found that the seeds actually fuse the membranes of said bacteria together. As those membranes are the main protection the bacteria have, disrupting them causes the cells to die...

This ancient Egyptian practice can cheaply purify dirty water - ScienceAlert

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