Who among us hasn’t cried watching An American Tail? (It’s OK, the Internet can’t see you nodding.) Fievel Mousekewitz, a young mouse from Russia, emigrates to America to escape Cossack cats and ends up separated from his family in New York City. Of course it’s sad — because Fievel is an illegal immigrant carrying superbugs.
A study of mice throughout New York City reveals that Fievel’s great-great-great-great-great … (mouse generations are ridiculous) … great-grandchildren are carrying disease-causing bacteria, including a few antibiotic-resistant germs.
Three percent of the mice carried Salmonella bacteria, 14 percent carried disease-causing Shigella, 12 percent carried the food poisoning germ Clostridium perfringens, 4 percent carried enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and 4 percent carried Clostridium difficile, a notorious cause of often-fatal chronic diarrhea.
“Often-fatal chronic diarrhea.” Clearly, crying our lungs out at their songs wasn’t enough for these Trojan mice.
If you see signs of mice in your domicile, it is critical to take steps to either catch or kill them and clean up all possible surfaces with bleach to disinfect contagion due to urine and feces. And we have to act fast before these vermin go west.
If you’re the type of person who likes to go to a store and try on clothes before buying them, rather than just purchasing them online, the dying retail industry thanks you. But you should also know that you’re wearing some nasty germs.
Researchers have found that a lot of garments in stores have some nasty stuff on them. Because people touch them, try them on, and put them back, these things just sit there growing bacteria and viruses on them — even fecal remnants. You don’t even have to buy the garments, just by touching them, you pick up all of that stuff on your hands. And it sits there waiting for you to touch your eye, or your nose, or to eat something.
Worst of all, if you wear the clothes without washing them first, it’s all over you. And that’s our excuse for not going shopping with our significant others.
You’ve probably seen friends passing around a news story about how wine can increase your longevity. It doesn’t. It just says that people who are 90 or whatever and drink wine seem to be in better shape mentally than those who don’t. But science has found that wine might actually be good for the health of your mouth.
According to a recent study in Spain, some of the chemicals found in red wine can actually prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Polyphenols have been shown to kill harmful bacteria in your mouth, decreasing your chances of having mouth problems, aside from purple lips and teeth, and slurring your words. They have even been found to have positive effects on your gut bacteria.
The Guys aren’t dentists, but we recommend keeping a bottle of cabernet next to your toothbrush. It’s the only mouth wash that’s safe to swallow.
Back in 2010, scientists were excited by what appeared to be the discovery of a bacterium, GFAJ-1, that not only lives in an environment rife with arsenic, but also eats that arsenic and uses it to survive instead of phosphorus. It would have been the first lifeform ever discovered that lives on anything outside of the six “building blocks” of life: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur.
However, it was not meant to be. Two new studies have proven conclusively that GFAL-1 was still getting enough phosphorus to survive and had merely developed an immunity to arsenic. Alas, it is not the arsenic-drinking monster that we thought might have finally cured our Sicilian kidnapper problem.
We know that human beings contain more germs on a single finger than an entire dog’s mouth. At least, according to Schools, who open mouth kisses dogs all the time. (All the time.) But, until recently, we didn’t have a list of every pathogen humans carry … until now.
It turns out that the entire human body is a popular bacterial nightclub with over 100 trillion “good” strains dancing the night away (and getting freaky in a few bathroom using areas). And there are hundreds of trillions more lined up around every door knob, just waiting to get in. (Some of them, like HIV, pretend to be someone else to suckerpunch our bouncer cells.)
So, food for thought next time you’re around a hugger.
You see, everyone’s covered with bacteria, not just skanky people. Over 100 species worth are all over you right now, spreading to everything you touch. Scientists refuse to call this “the Human Slug Trail,” despite all of our letters. And just like snowflakes, only 13 percent of any person’s contamination field is identical to any other person’s.
So, imagine you’re a writer for CSI or work in the much smaller field of actual crime scene forensics. The Icy-Hot Killer has struck another orphanage, but has left no fingerprints. (And, no, there isn’t any semen.) But say they left their calling card: a single can of Icy-Hot. It may be print-free, but unless they wiped it with Chlorox wipes, there should be a bacteria sample.
By now, we’ve all heard the paranoia about how the overuse of antibiotics can create drug resistant bacteria, but a new study has confirmed that antibiotics aren’t the only worry.
No, really. It might be the only thing that saves the human race.
Scientists at the National University of Ireland have tested the effectiveness of a common hospital and home disinfectant, benzalkonium chloride (BKC) on a easily found pathogen, pseudomonas aeruginosa. The pathogen tends to infect those already weakened by illness. What they found is that the pathogen will grow stronger when exposed repeatedly to small amounts of disinfectant. The lesson here? Go hard or go home.
While the researchers aren’t saying we shouldn’t use disinfectants, they are saying that they need to be used responsibly. Use the amount directed on the bottle and be aware that diluted disinfectant can build up on a surface, which then encourages the bacteria’s growth. Pay heed, lest the next war we take on be at the microscopic level.