By Bjorn Carey
Posted 01.14.2011 at 11:40 am 19 Comments
The obvious concern is that city sidewalks are dirty. And that’s a valid concern, says Daniel Howell, a biologist at Liberty University in Virginia who has lived mainly shoeless for the past few years. “There’s a lot of soot, so your feet get blacker than if you were in the woods,” explains Howell, who has toured New York barefoot several times. But, he says, a little soot isn’t bad.
If you lived in a University of Denver undergraduate dorm, signs touting this rhyme might grace your hallways. In an attempt to encourage students to wash their hands more frequently, specifically after going to the bathroom, researchers at UD tried various types of messaging to get the idea across: gross, germ, and you-will-get-sick.
Antibacterial soap kills 99.9 percent of germs. Should you worry about that other 0.1 percent?
By Amy Geppert
Posted 06.06.2008 at 1:10 pm 10 Comments
Your dirty hands can harbor millions of germs, but simply washing your hands with regular soap—making sure you vigorously rub them together for 30 seconds—will slough enough microbes down the drain to cut that number to the tens of thousands.
Eat lunch at the desk? Your computer may be harboring more germs than a toilet
By Matt Ransford
Posted 05.05.2008 at 12:13 pm 3 Comments
We've all heard of the five-second rule when having dropped food on the floor—if you pick it up before five seconds have passed, it's safe to eat. In recent years, scientists have put that folk wisdom to the test and the results fell somewhere in the middle. If bacteria are present on the floor, researchers found that five seconds is plenty of time for it to attach to your food. However, most floors harbor very little bacteria, so unless you're unlucky enough to drop your toast on a tiny patch of e. coli, you'll probably be fine to eat it. If you were to drop that bread on your keyboard, though, that's another story. You'd maybe want to back away slowly and reach for the nearest tongs.
Are those paper toilet-seat covers really protecting you from anything?
By Melissa A. Calderone
Posted 05.02.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
The paper toilet-seat cover can be a guardian angel for the backside, but only if the seat is dry to begin with. When the cover is placed onto a seat that´s wet, it ferries bacteria and viruses from the toilet seat up to your bare skin.
The good news is that you´re unlikely to contract a disease merely by sitting on a pathogen-covered toilet.
Infectious diseases: A rogues' gallery of the germs that laugh at the best drugs we've got.
By Rebecca Skloot
Posted 02.20.2003 at 3:39 pm 0 Comments
A century ago, an ear infection could have meant deafness; a staph infection could have meant death. Those days may seem long gone. But scientists warn that drug resistance could be our Achilles heel. "Just about every pathogen that causes human disease is becoming resistant to the drugs we rely on most to treat them," says David Bell, the CDC's antimicrobial resistance coordinator. Everything from malaria to bacteria lurking in leftovers is getting harder to kill. Here, five top offenders.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.