Don't bother asking "why" when it comes to governmental wishes -- just accept the fact that the US Army needs a more efficient way of filtering bacterial spores from water. All jesting aside, the actual process of filtering water and investigating what types of critters are swimming about is surprisingly complex, and currently, it still requires a good bit of human interaction to overcome clogs that frequently occur. Thanks to a little research going down at MIT, it's looking like sound may be the answer. Yeah, noise. The Army is funding a project that'll determine whether an acoustic standing wave would be able to jostle things in a way that clogs would be avoided, and if it pans out, mad scientists could even monitor water quality remotely. We told you telecommuting was a beautiful thing, now didn't we?

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US Army eyes acoustic trapping for filtering bacteria from water