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Iconic Desert Plant Could Hold Secret to Clean Water

The slimy guts of cacti can purify contaminated water, according to researchers at the University of South Florida, who presented their work at the meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego. Norma Alcantar, associate professor of chemical engineering at USF, says the mucilage, or guts, of the cactus, has cleansing properties. It "attracts sediments, bacteria and other contaminants," she explained, so they can be removed from the water. She has been experimenting with...

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