News Stories

News Stories relating to "germs"

Bacteria in the Clouds

Researchers have discovered the presence of significant numbers of living microorganisms--mostly bacteria--in the middle and upper troposphere, the part of the atmosphere four to six miles above the Earth's surface. In other words, the clouds are filled with germs! Do they fall...
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Germs That Heal Instead of Hurt

Germs can be dangerous or benign, but now scientists are discovering ways that they can help...
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We're Vulnerable to Germ Warfare

There are lots of attacks that don't involve bombs--or flying jets into buildings, as happened on 911 (NOTE: ...
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Bacteria Fights Off Viruses

There may be a good reason why our bodies are covered with bacteria: It turns out that bacteria fights off viruses.

Science Daily quotes researcher David Artis as saying, "From our studies in mice, we found that signals derived from these beneficial...
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Autism May Happen Because We're Too Clean

Autism may be caused by sperm degeneration in older dads, but it could ALSO be caused by a weakened immune system in the mother. Modern immune systems are less efficient than those in the past. Why?...
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It's Dangerous to be Too Clean (Part II)

We may be dirty, but exposure to common antibacterial chemicals and preservatives found in soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and other personal-care products may make children more likely to have food and environmental allergies.

Researcher Jennifer Savage says, "We saw a...
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What About Airport Germs?

As if X-rays weren't enough, we have to take our shoes off in an airport. Do we pick up dangerous germs if we've forgotten to wear socks? And what about those bins--is the TSA line going to replace...
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It's Dangerous to be Too Clean

Why do we have so much bacteria all over our bodies? One reason may be that they fight off viruses. That's why it can be dangerous...
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The Five Second Rule

The hot dog that rolls off the plate, the baby’s cookie that falls on the floor, the candy bar that slides across the table--we're told we have five seconds to pick it up before it's contaminated. Is this true?

Researcher Jorge Parada says, "A dropped item is...
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Time to Get Dirty

We have a problem: We're just too clean! The rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases during the past few decades may be at least partly due to our lack of exposure to the microorganisms in dirt.

We once walked barefoot in the dirt and washed it off of our food. Now we...
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Freaks and Geeks

In 1968, a comedy called "The Odd Couple," starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, told the story of two divorced men, Felix Ungar (a neurotic neatfreak) and Oscar Madison (a fun-loving slob) who decide to live together. This is a script that plays itself out again and again as college starts and students find themselves paired with...
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Hotel Hygiene--How Clean is That Room?

Think your desk is filthy? What about your hotel room? We all hope the room we rent is clean and hygienic, but we have no way of knowing how clean it really is. If...
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Your Office is Loaded With Germs

Here's another way men and women are different: Men's offices have more bacteria than women's offices. Also, New York City offices have more germs in them that San Francisco offices (and what about the bathrooms...
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Bad Air Vents at Secret Gov. Lab May be Blowing Germs Our Way

Secret government documents and emails reveal that a $214 million CDC bioterror germ lab in Atlanta has had repeated problems with airflow systems designed to help prevent the release of infectious agents. The lab is violating basic laboratory operating...
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Think Twice Before Getting That Manicure

Thinking of getting your nails done for those holiday parties? How about a new haircut? We hate to make you paranoid (NOTE:...
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Can You Catch a Disease from Restaurant Dishes?

Can you catch the flu from your restaurant plate? It's an important question: There are 20 million cases of acute gastroenteritis and 128,000 hospitalizations a year that are attributed to food-borne illness. Food expert Melvin Pascall says, "While there...
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It's snowing bacteria!

A study of hailstones has found large numbers of bacteria at their cores. It turns out that the bacteria help create the snow and hail, since their coating of protein causes water to freeze at relatively warm temperatures. In fact, bacteria works so well that it's used in snow-making machines.
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Bacteria Civil War

While we desperately wage war against bacteria by developing new varieties of antibiotics, there's at least SOME good news: some types of bacteria wage a kind of "civil war" against EACH OTHER. There are predators in the bacterial world that consume other bacteria, much as predators attack prey in the animal world. Some of these predator...
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Germs Released After 15 Million Years

Scientists are melting ice from a lake in Antarctica that has been frozen for a million years, in order to study the microbes trapped within it. Are they releasing something that could be dangerous?

Researchers have thawed ice estimated to be at least a million years old from above Lake Vostok, an ancient lake that lies hidden more than...

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How Can You Be Sure Those Dishes are Clean?

The highest bacteria counts can sometimes be found where you least expect them. Kitchen counters are breeding places for germs?but what about restaurants?

Most restaurants use automatic dishwashers, but small restaurants and bars often wash dishes and glassware by hand. New research answers a basic question about eating and drinking at...

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Toilet Seats: Safer Than You Think

When you go into a public toilet, do you dread sitting down? It turns out that these are not the repository for germs that we tend to think they are. In fact, in the home anyway, the toilet seat is often the most germ-free surface in the house!

Two years ago, we wrote about a study that showed that the cleaner your kitchen looks, the...

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Allergic to Home

Worried about pollution? Stay away from home, where moving around?and even vacuuming?can kick up enough dust particles to be hazardous to your health. Maybe this will reassure you: the toilet seat is the most germ free place in your house.

Michael Bernstein writes for the American Chemical Society that that ordinary household activities...

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