We like the idea of a straw that can filter water as you drink it, but the first version of the LifeStraw and its similar-looking cousin the iStraw added an unpleasant iodine taste to the water. According to its makers, the Lifestraw Mark II almost completely eliminates that yucky aftertaste while filtering out 99.999% of waterborne bacteria, and 98.7% of waterborne viruses that you might encounter. This could be extremely useful in developing countries, or in areas where the water quality is questionable. If this thing really works, it could save lots of lives, but too bad it costs about $20, way beyond the means of many who can certainly use it. [Gizmag, via bb Gadgets]
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