Chlorine is used to disinfect pool water, in particular, to prevent disease-causing microorganisms from growing in pools. It exists naturally as a gas, and some natural chlorine particles may be present in the area around the swimming pool water. Swimmers often experience swollen eyes or itchy skin caused by chlorine particles in the air. In fact, according to … Read More

The “five-second rule” is the popular notion that food dropped on the floor is considered safe to eat if picked up within five seconds. The logic behind this rule is that bacteria need time to transfer to the food. Although most adults (hopefully) refrain from eating off the floor, whether or not they believe in this rule, … Read More

There’s something dangerous lurking in that cookie—something potentially more dangerous than the seven grams of fat or four grams of sugar. Researchers at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recently found that pathogens like salmonella can survive for six months in cookies and crackers. Embed from Getty Images  Certain kinds of … Read More

Bacteria have been used for thousands of years in helping prepare fermented foods such as cheese, wine, and yogurt. What may not be well known is that researchers have discovered bacteria can also help diagnose cancer. Researchers from MIT and UCSD have programmed probiotics, a type of beneficial bacteria found in yogurt, to become bioluminescent. Bioluminescence, the emitting of light through … Read More

The medical field was forever changed in the 20th century upon the discovery and increased usage of antibiotics, chemical agents used to kill or prevent the growth of bacteria. Disease-causing bacteria that have developed a resistance to antibiotics are a cause for major concern nowadays, but non-resistant bacteria, with the ability to promote the persistence … Read More

When people hear about bionics, they likely picture a man in a futuristic suit of robotic gear (iron man?). To be more technical, however, bionics can be defined as technology that models functions performed by living things in nature. Recent bionic developments have generated excitement and interest in the limitless applications of this particular type of technology. A … Read More

Fall will soon be upon us, and with it comes signature autumnal fashion. Boots! Scarves! Chunky sweaters! Surgical masks! Wait, what? With flu season just around the corner, don’t be surprised to see your fellow humans bust out surgical masks as their newest style statement. But how much of an impact do surgical masks actually … Read More

Maple syrup, a longtime favorite condiment, is now being considered for more than just its delicious taste. Canadian researchers led by chemical engineer Nathalie Tufenkji at McGill University, Montreal, have revealed a new use for the classic breakfast topping: helping make bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics. First, the scientists extracted a certain type of aromatic organic … Read More

In the past, smoking cigarettes used to be the “cool” thing to do, but eventually people realized that cigarettes contain many chemicals known to cause lung cancer. As the National Cancer Institute reports, 90% of male deaths and 80% of female deaths from lung cancer are caused by smoking. Amidst the negative health impacts and … Read More

Antibiotics are a staple in the healthcare system; they are effective drugs that kill bacteria and stop them from multiplying. Antibiotics heal many common illnesses such as bladder infections, sexually transmitted diseases, boils, and ear infections. They cannot, however, cure viral diseases such as the cold or flu. Unfortunately, this standard medication is often misused by both healthcare … Read More

For many, summer is the perfect time for a family vacation or personal travel adventure. In today’s global society, with the ease of air transportation, it is possible to travel to any corner of the world. But while planes are amazing technological innovations, they can also pose several health risks. Frequent and first-time flyers alike … Read More

Yogurt cups displaying the Live & Active Cultures seal, or the word “probiotic” on the label, are increasingly popular in the dairy aisle of the grocery store. This yogurt may look, taste, and be made in the same way as other yogurts, but it contains a significant amount of probiotics: live and active bacterial and/or yeast cultures. … Read More

Did you know that on average, people fart about 14 times per day? Did you know that the length and loudness of a fart depends on how much pressure is applied? Well, now you do, and like most people, you may have experienced farting after eating a meal or having to hold in a fart … Read More

Of all the parts of the human body, belly buttons tend to go unnoticed. Everyone has one, but it serves no obvious purpose and requires little to no maintenance. So, what is the significance behind having a belly button? The belly button, also called the navel, is the site of fetal umbilical cord attachment during … Read More

You probably cannot imagine living without a sense of touch. In fact, it would be hard for you to survive without it–having a sense of touch helps protect your body from injuries that can result from touching sharp objects. Most organisms have a sense of touch; however, when you think about microorganisms like bacteria, it is … Read More

A study by a research team including Adrian Egli from the University of Basel in Switzerland found that a variant in a gene called IL-28B may influence the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. Usually, the flu results in mild symptoms such as nausea, cough, fever, and stuffy nose. However, in some, the condition can lead to serious … Read More

Antibiotics occupy our vernacular in modern medicine. That being said, they are by no means the cure-all that they are often advertised to be. In fact, while they can be extremely effective in certain cases, there is growing evidence of very negative effects when they are used inappropriately. Understanding and knowing when to use antibiotics is useful … Read More

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