Sunday, November 16, 2008

Microbiology in the news: How bleach kills germs

I am starting a new thread here - microbiology in the news. And my first posting is about bleach. Everyone probably has used it at one time or another to clean something. And some people use it to kill "germs" (aka microbes) too. Well, MSNBC is reporting (Mystery solved: How bleach kills germs - Science- msnbc.com) on a Cell article that presents evidence regarding how the active ingredient in bleach (hypochlorous acid) kills bacteria. Apparently, it works in a similar way to heat in destabilizing protein structures. Anyway, the researchers claim that this is relevant to killing of microbes inside of people because
"Hypochlorous acid is an important part of host defense," Jakob said. "It's not just something we use on our countertops."
Whether this is true or not, I do not know. But what I do know is that microbes are in the news. And that is good.

For more on the bleach story see

1 comment:

  1. "Hypochlorous acid is an important part of host defense," Jakob said. "It's not just something we use on our countertops."

    Whether this is true or not, I do not know.

    It is true, actually. HOCl is produced in the phagosomes of macrophages, alongside several other microbicidal compounds that are mostly reactive oxygen intermediaries (like H2O2).

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