Water, Water Everywhere

From Science:Beetle

A desert beetle that wrings water from fog has inspired scientists to create a nanomaterial that literally plucks moisture from the air. The invention could boost water supplies in the driest regions, say experts, and a similar setup could be used to precisely control the flow of tiny amounts of fluids for sensitive diagnostic tests.

Stenocara beetles live in the Namib Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. Located on the southwest coast of Africa, the region has scarce, unpredictable rainfall and no streams. On mornings when thick fog drifts in from the Atlantic Ocean, the insect climbs to the top of a dune and does a headstand, tilting its back into the breeze. Water droplets collect on the tops of smooth bumps until they spill into waxy, water-repellent grooves studded with smaller bumps that shunt the water down the insect’s shell into its mouth.

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