"While it only works on bacteria with the right level of membrane rigidity, it's the first time a surface has been found that can destroy bacteria solely through its physical structure. "
It also doesn't work on molds and other stuff...
Look.. Cicadas make their typical noise with their wings. To do that those wings must be *DRY*. They have evolved a surface that does exactly that..
Bacteria do not grow if there is no (free) water around. Humans have figured this out, and have been using salt as dessiccant since the early stone age. ( again, molds yes, bacteria no, which explains the large amount of regional variety in sausages.)
Put A + B together.... Nanotubes suck moisture, with great efficiency. El Reg has had a couple of articles about that. nanotubes on a bugs' wing? Land on that as a bacterium, and you literally get sucked the life right out of you. ( plus another host of reasons , but all they amount to is : no free water = no growth)
Of course this is overly simplified, but I for one do not have an "atomic microscope" in my budget. Just a decades old degree in biology. But hey... it's got "nano" in the title, so it must be actual science...
Yes, I'm a grumpy b'tard. Downvote at will.