Faster, polymers, kill kill kill!

Mary
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Good news for OCD types who are scared to touch doorknobs (and toilet seats, and public bannisters, and...): Scientists at MIT have developed a type of paint that kills some particularly nasty types of germs on contact.

If applied to doorknobs or other surfaces where germs tend to accumulate, the new substance could help fight the spread of the flu, says Jianzhu Chen, MIT professor of biology. ...

The "antimicrobial paint," which can be sprayed or brushed onto surfaces, consists of spiky polymers that poke holes in the membranes that surround influenza viruses. ... The polymers are also effective against many types of bacteria, including human pathogens Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, deadly strains of which are often resistant to antibiotics.

One of the benefits of the new polymer coating is that it is highly unlikely that bacteria will develop resistance to it, Klibanov said. Bacteria can become resistant to traditional antibiotics by adjusting the biochemical pathways targeted by antibiotics, but it would be difficult for bacteria to evolve a way to stop the polymer spikes from tearing holes in their membranes.

"It's hard to develop resistance to someone sticking a knife in your body," Klibanov said.

But will it come in "Blue Bayou" or "Adobe Beige?" If so, I've got a bathroom that could really use a coat of this stuff...

January 10, 2007 - 2:53am
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