May 28, 2009 | 5
Think a good antibacterial hand soap is keeping your skin relatively microbe and bacteria free? You might want to think again.
Scientists and germophobes alike have long known that human skin—from head to toe—is literally crawling with bacteria and microbes. And a new study, published today in Science shows that skin is host to many, many more of the tiny organisms than previously thought.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) new Human Microbiome Project sequenced genes from skin samples from volunteers and found bacteria that hailed from 19 different phyla, 205 genera and possessed more than 112,000 individual gene sequences. (Previous studies of skin cultures supposed that just one type of bacteria, Staphylococcus—a virulent strain of which is responsible for staph infections—was the main resident of human skin.) But no need to overdo it on the antibacterials; most of the tiny organisms aren't doing any harm.
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Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
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