It may sound like something from a science fiction novel, but it's true. And the best part is that it works.
Students from a design class at Rice University in Houston developed an affordable and stable option for infants in third world countries that otherwise wouldn't have a chance at life.
According to CNN:
The overall survival rate of babies with respiratory distress at the Malawi hospital increased from 44% to 71% with the use of the students' breathing machine, according to a recent clinical trial.
Using aquarium pumps, the students have designed a low-cost version of a breathing device called a bubble CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, machine. Traditional bubble CPAP systems used in developed countries can cost upwards of $6,000; the students' machine can be manufactured for around $350, providing big savings for hospitals in poverty-stricken areas.