Keeping our water clean is a constant effort.

Well, UCLA claims to have developed a safer and quicker method of what's currently being practiced.

Researchers at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA are using enzymes to remove pollutants from water in a variation of the way they're currently being used.

The nanoscientists there are putting enzymes into nanoscale particles they call "vaults," before dropping them into polluted water.

While Shaily Mahendra, a UCLA associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, explains that natural biodegradation would eventually break down pollution in water after a lengthy period of time, the University's nanoscientists say that their vaults protect the enzymes, allowing them to remain intact in polluted water and be more effective than current methods of enzyme cleaning.

Testing their vaults with an enzyme called manganese peroxidase, UCLA found that they removed three times as much phenol from water over 24 hours as the enzyme did in contaminated water without using vaults.

That's in opposition to current methods, which use enzymes to clean water, but much too often release dangerous organisms as part of the cleaning process.

"Natural microbes are why the world isn't still covered with dinosaur droppings," Mahendra said. "But we don't have the time or room on our planet to ignore contaminated lakes and rivers for a couple of million years while nature does the work."

This updated method is not only touted as faster, but safer. Now, how long will it take until it will be put into effect?

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