November 15, 2010 |
One of my co-workers always asks for a slice of lemon in his water. I shudder every time I see that piece of lemon floating in his glass, but I don't have the nerve to tell him it's probably loaded with germs. Am I mistaken? You are correct. Microbiologist Anne LaGrange Loving was served a Diet Coke with a slice of lemon she had not requested. She decided to check whether the lemon was likely to be contaminated. She and her co-author surreptitiously swabbed 76 lemon slices served at 21 different restaurants, then cultured the results.
August 9, 2010 |
The controversial "five-second rule" — the one that allows us to eat dropped food if it's quickly scooped off the floor — is a bunch of baloney, according to Clemson University food scientist Paul Dawson, who stirred up the long-debated issue in a recent issue of National Geographic. Though previous research has shown we may have up to a minute to rescue certain types of spilled food before it becomes contaminated, Dawson and his students made a strong case for the "zero-second rule.
July 19, 2010 |
Swimming may be fun (if you like that kind of thing), but it also carries risks…. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May issued a report showing that one out of eight public pool inspections in 13 states had resulted in immediate closures due to serious code violations. Many of these pools, especially those designed for children, had "disinfectant violations." Improper disinfectant and pH levels (a measure of acidity) can result in transmission of germs that can cause diarrhea, the CDC noted.
March 16, 2010 |
Forget fingerprint dusting. Crime-scene drama fans might soon see a new forensic technique debut on their favorite TV series: hand-germ testing. According to a study published online Monday, bacteria that live on a person's hands could one day accurately identify that individual. This could come in handy to track down a criminal who has worn gloves, removed prints and other personal physical evidence, or touched surfaces such as fabric on which a fingerprint wouldn't show up, the researchers said.
February 1, 2010 |
If you've seen the television ad for the anti-germ spray MyClyns, you no doubt remember the pivotal scene: A mom and her two kids sit at a dinner table, the little boy coughs on his sister and mom heroically grabs the spray bottle of MyClyns. Against all expectations, she doesn't spray the table or the air. Instead, she sprays her daughter. Directly in the face. MyClyns is intended to kill germs that land on the face before they have a chance to cause illness, kind of like Lysol for the skin.
October 17, 2009 |
Television news shows and newspaper headlines scream about the potential dangers of H1N1, also known as swine flu, and there you are, contemplating a trip for the upcoming holidays. So, you ask yourself: Am I safe from airborne germs in the confined cabin of a crowded passenger jet? The topic of air quality on airplanes has come up repeatedly this year, most noticeably when Vice President Joe Biden told a television audience last spring that he was advising family members to avoid confined spaces such as airplanes for fear of contracting the flu from a sneezing passenger.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2009 |
Brendan Mullen, founder of the Masque punk rock club in Hollywood that helped launch the vibrantly anarchic music scene on the West Coast in the late 1970s, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke over the weekend. He was 60. Mullen died at Ventura County Medical Center, said his companion of 16 years, Kateri Butler. The couple had been traveling through Santa Barbara and Ventura celebrating his 60th birthday, which was Friday. "The doctors are completely perplexed," Butler said.
September 14, 2009 |
Wash your hands early and often. That's standard advice for preventing the flu. But that's not always practical. If hand-washing isn't possible, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using alcohol-based hand rubs. Studies show that products with sufficient alcohol content are effective at reducing the number of viral and bacterial germs on the hands. These products are also quick and convenient. Note that only hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol are effective.
HOME & GARDEN
September 12, 2009 |
Cram college students into close quarters -- the shared restrooms, the group dining, the TV lounges where a steamy bag of microwave popcorn becomes communal property -- and dorm living can suddenly become a daily exercise in dodging illness. With what is shaping up to be an unusually difficult influenza season ahead, university student housing and health officials are launching extraordinary measures aimed at keeping dorm dwellers healthy in their homes-away-from-home. At UC Irvine, students moving into residence halls later this month will receive colorful doorknob hangers to post if they contract the flu, warning visitors to steer clear.