5-speed listening (Level 3)

Desert beetles used to get water from air



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Scientists may have found one answer to the problem of water shortages. It is a new material that collects water from the air. They got their idea from a small beetle that lives in the desert in Africa. The deserts of the Skeleton Coast in Namibia are very dry, but the Namib desert beetle is an expert at surviving in hot and dry conditions. Its shell is covered in small bumps that collect tiny water droplets from the air. The water is enough to keep the beetle alive. Scientists studied the shape and material of the beetle's bumps. They want to use what they found out about the beetle to make their own materials that can collect water from the air. This will help people who live in very dry areas.

The scientists believe this new technology could help in many areas of our life. They said it could be very useful for power plants and for the heating and air conditioning in airplanes, cars and trains. One of the scientists, Philseok Kim, said: "Thermal power plants, for example, rely on condensers to quickly convert steam to liquid water. [Our] design could help speed up that process and even allow for operation at a higher temperature, significantly improving the overall energy efficiency." Another scientist, Joanna Aizenberg, said she was looking forward to the future of getting ideas for new technologies from nature. She said: "Everybody is excited about bio-inspired materials research."

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