Printer Friendly

Scummy hideout.

A scrub-a-dub in the shower makes your body squeaky clean, right? Think again. Researchers have found that shower curtains are home to loads of bacteria that may cause disease.

Scott Kelley, a microbiologist from San Diego State University, and colleagues scraped the soap scum from four shower curtains. When he examined the slime under a microscope, he was shocked. "We found billions of bacterial cells all Over the [microscope] slide," says Kelley.

Harmful buggers? The bacteria's DNA (genetic material) showed that most of the organisms were related to one of two types of opportunistic bacteria. That means they're harmless to healthy people, but dangerous to those with a weakened immune (body's disease-fighting) system.

Kelley says the bacterial guests most likely feast on volatile organic compounds (carbon-containing chemicals that evaporate easily). In other words, they thrive by eating your farts and belches!

Lesson Plans

Learn more about microbes like bacteria with the American Society for Microbiology's mystery game:

Check out this CNN article to read more about the shower-curtain bacteria:

Find out how antibiotics work to kill harmful bacteria:
COPYRIGHT 2004 Scholastic, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Life/Bacteria
Author:Bryner, Jeanna
Publication:Science World
Date:Apr 26, 2004
Previous Article:Eureka!
Next Article:Say ouch!

Related Articles
Thieving bacteria use hot goods in hideout.
AFGHANISTAN - Nov. 13 - Bin Laden In New Hideout.
Secret plans. (Editor's Comments).
Bush's winning hand: racial tokens in the administration. (Enemies of the State).
Sensors, robots bad news for city thugs.
Writers' & Artists' Hideouts.
Paying in pain, #16.
ARAB-US RELATIONS - Jun 27 - Pentagon Warns On Afghan Violence.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters