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‘Bugs’ team with chlorine to clean water

Researchers used viruses to infect and kill colonies of a common disease-causing bacteria and believe they could be used to help sanitize water.

“Our experiment was the first to use bacteriophages in conjunction with chlorine to destroy biofilms, which are layers of bacteria growing on a solid surface,” says Zhiqiang Hu, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering. “The advantage to using viruses is that they can selectively kill harmful bacteria.

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