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Deodorant made from nanoparticles

Scientists have come with a new approach for dealing with offensive household and other odours.

The new method does not mask odours like today’s room fresheners, but eliminates them at the source. Their research found that a deodorant made from nanoparticles — hundreds of times smaller than peach fuzz — eliminates odours up to twice as effectively as today’s gold standard.

Brij Moudgil and colleagues note that consumers use a wide range of materials to battle undesirable odours in clothing, on pets, in rooms, and elsewhere.Most common household air fresheners, for instance, mask odours with pleasing fragrances but do not eliminate the odours from the environment. People also apply deodourising substances that absorb smells.

These materials include activated carbon and baking soda. However, these substances tend to have only a weak ability to absorb the chemicals responsible for the odour.
The scientists describe development of a new material consisting of nanoparticles of silica (the main ingredient in beach sand) — each 1/50,000th the width of a human hair — coated with copper.

That metal has well-established anti-bacterial and anti-odour properties, and the nanoparticles gave copper a greater surface area to exert its effects.

Food-borne bacteria causes difficult-to-treat infections
Particular strains of a food-borne bacteria are able to invade the heart, leading to serious and difficult-to-treat heart infections.

The bacteria Listeria monocytogenes is commonly found in soft cheeses and chilled ready-to-eat products, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

For healthy individuals, listeria infections are usually mild, but for susceptible individuals and the elderly, infection can result in serious illness, usually associated with the central nervous system, the placenta and the developing fetus. About 10 per cent of serious listeria infections involve a cardiac infection, according to Nancy Freitag, principle investigator on the study.

These infections are difficult to treat, with more than one-third proving fatal, but have not been widely studied and are poorly understood. Freitag and her colleagues obtained a strain of listeria that had been isolated from a patient with endocarditis, or infection of the heart.

They found that when they infected mice with either the cardiac isolate or a lab strain, they found 10 times as much bacteria in the hearts of mice infected with the cardiac strain. Further, the researchers found that while the lab-strain-infected group often had no heart infection at all, 90 per cent of the mice infected with the cardiac strain had heart infections.

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