Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Master's Open Day at UNU-MERIT
UNU-MERIT will host a Master’s Open Day on Saturday 7 October 2017. Our top-ranked MSc in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) emphasises the connection between public policy and decision-making processes, as well as the principles of good governance.

Students who successfully complete our Master’s programme receive a double degree issued by the United Nations University and Maastricht University. Several information sessions will be offered throughout the day and visitors will have the opportunity to talk with staff and students.

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All headlines
  • Light stored as sound for the first time
  • New method for testing blood with sound waves developed
  • Could we store carbon dioxide as liquid lakes under the sea?
  • Scientists make alcohol out of thin air
  • Handheld scanner divines how nutritious your food really is
  • 3D-printed alloys could lead to lighter planes that fly further
  • Initiative to build African science journalism capacity
  • Cleaning bots can zap bacteria out of water in minutes
    Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany have unveiled spherical microbots capable of propelling themselves through water and killing off bacteria at the same time, potentially giving us a new and effective way of tackling contaminated water supplies.

    Swimming through water infected with E. coli, the new bots were able to kill more than 80% of the bacteria present inside 20 minutes, and because they're magnetic they can be easily pulled from the water too. That is a big advantage over adding cleaning chemicals to water, chemicals which stick around after use and may not be very effective.

    The bots are divided in two - one half is made of magnesium, which creates hydrogen bubbles in water and acts as a propulsion system. The other half is made of alternating iron and gold layers topped off with silver nanoparticles, and acts as the bacteria-blasting part of the mini machine. The iron and gold layers trap the target bacteria, and the nanoparticles kill them off.

    It's the iron that enables magnets to draw out the microbots after they've done their cleaning duties, along with the trapped, dead bacteria, because you don't really want to be drinking or swimming around in water that's packed with microbots. The more bots that get added, the more effective the cleaning is likely to be.

    Science Alert / ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces    June 30, 2017