Midnight In The Desert — bacteria

Study shows that electric hand dryers do a great job of concentrating bacteria and spraying it all over your hands

Posted by K R on

Study shows that electric hand dryers do a great job of concentrating bacteria and spraying it all over your hands

But paper towels are four times as bad for the environment. What's a treehugger to do? Life Cycle Analyses have shown that electric hand dryers are far better for the environment at large than paper towels, but a study sponsored by the paper towel industry showed that (guess what?) electric dryers were also much better at spreading bacteria and viruses. Now Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing points to a new study by researchers at the University of Connecticut that seems independent, and which finds that, as ars technica so delicately put it, hot-air dryers suck in nasty bathroom bacteria and shoot...

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We are basically positive that the Russians did not find alien bacteria in space

Posted by K R on

We are basically positive that the Russians did not find alien bacteria in space

It will be a glorious day when we finally get definitive proof of alien life. It’s going to be absolutely amazing, whether we make contact with a species that rivals or exceeds us in intelligence or we accidentally squish an alien bug on a spaceship window. Today is not that day, though headlines from around the world invoked the ‘A’ word, claiming that ‘alien life’ in the form of bacteria had been found on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS). In an interview with Russian News Service TASS, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov—who will command the next crew of the...

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New answer to antibiotic resistance

Posted by K R on

New answer to antibiotic resistance

A 25-year-old student has just come up with a way to fight drug-resistant superbugs without antibiotics. The new approach has so far only been tested in the lab and on mice, but it could offer a potential solution to antibiotic resistance, which is now getting so bad that the United Nations recently declared it a "fundamental threat" to global health. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria already kill around 700,000 people each year, but a recent study suggests that number could rise to around 10 million by 2050. In addition to common hospital superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), scientists are now also concerned that...

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Bacteria made to turn sewage into clean water – and electricity

Posted by K R on

Bacteria made to turn sewage into clean water – and electricity

THEY’RE miraculous in their own way, even if they don’t quite turn water into wine. Personal water treatment plants could soon be recycling our waste water and producing energy on the side. Last month, Boston-based Cambrian Innovation began field tests of what’s known as a microbial fuel cell at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Maryland. Called BioVolt, in one day it can convert 2250 litres of sewage into enough clean water for at least 15 people. Not only that, it generates the electricity to power itself – plus a bit left over. This is a big deal, as conventional...

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Exclusive: Studies find 'super bacteria' in Rio's Olympic venues, top beaches

Posted by K R on

Exclusive: Studies find 'super bacteria' in Rio's Olympic venues, top beaches

Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant "super bacteria" off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5. The findings from two unpublished academic studies seen by Reuters concern Rio's most popular spots for tourists and greatly increase the areas known to be infected by the microbes normally found only in hospitals. They also heighten concerns that Rio's sewage-infested waterways are unsafe. A study published in late 2014 had shown the presence of the super bacteria - classified by the U.S....

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