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Scientists Put an End To Smelly Socks

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the never-do-laundry-again dept.

Science 238

athe!st writes "A new anti-microbial treatment that can make clothing — including smelly socks — permanently germ-free has been developed by US scientists. In a paper published in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, Dr Jason Locklin and his colleagues state that the treatment kills a wide range of dangerous pathogens, including staph, strep, E. coli, pseudomonas and acinetobacter."

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238 comments

Great... (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 3 years ago | (#36675994)

another way to breed resistant strains of dangerous pathogens.

Re:Great... (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36676026)

depends on how it works.

For example, alcohol based hand sanitizers can not be a vector for a 'resistant' germ.

Yes, Great... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676150)

What makes you think microbes cannot be resistant to alcohol? Some microbes literally shit alcohol.

Unicellular life has a much easier time evolving than we do. Lining up 3 trillion cells to work together at all amazes me, & I'm doing that right now!

Re:Yes, Great... (3, Insightful)

buback (144189) | about 3 years ago | (#36676230)

Since alcohol literally dissolves cell membranes, I'd be pretty impressed if they evolved past that impediment. Also remember that those bacteria that 'shit' alcohol are eventually killed off by all that 'shit'. That's why you can't brew vodka, but distill it instead.

Re:Yes, Great... (2)

dr-suess-fan (210327) | about 3 years ago | (#36676272)

FYI, it's yeast (a member of the fungi kingdom), not bacteria. Bacteria can spoil a good brew.

Re:Yes, Great... (5, Informative)

Ossifer (703813) | about 3 years ago | (#36676388)

Au contraire!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambic [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yes, Great... (2)

Cryolithic (563545) | about 3 years ago | (#36676626)

Mod Parent Up! God I love me a good lambic! He's GP is right though, *most* of the time, bacteria in your fermentation process is not a good thing.

Re:Yes, Great... (2)

Ossifer (703813) | about 3 years ago | (#36676780)

My GP says I should not drink so much beer.

Re:Yes, Great... (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#36676474)

I can't see what the impediment there is. It seems like there could be a lot of relatively simple modifications of the cell wall structure that would block alcohol. Why couldn't a bug by chance develop a plastic coating? Plastics are chemically pretty simple, resist alcohol, and can be made from stuff available to bugs.

Re:Yes, Great... (3, Insightful)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 3 years ago | (#36676650)

Because it would have to evolve a plastic coating that still magically performed all of the functions of the original cell membrane. It would be kind of like saying why can't human evolve a plastic coating over their lungs to defend against inhaling acid fumes. You would block what was killing you at the expense of ...well...killing you in a different and horrible way.

Re:Yes, Great... (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 3 years ago | (#36676810)

I don't see any theoretical reason why a microbe couldn't evolve a mechanism to metabolise alcohol into something like, say, a sugar. Most organic enzymatic reactions seem to be reversible.

Re:Yes, Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676340)

Some microbes literally shit alcohol.

Yes, but don't they stop doing it when the concentration of their own waste becomes toxic? I think yeast also works along these lines.

Unicellular life has a much easier time evolving than we do.

Might that be because of the vastly faster rate at which they reproduce? Even with asexual reproduction, reproducing every few hours probably beats the likes of us hands-down.

Re:Yes, Great... (5, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | about 3 years ago | (#36676566)

Some microbes literally shit alcohol.

Such organisms consume food and excrete alcohol until the ambient concentration is too high for them to tolerate any longer. After years of selective breeding some yeasts have been produced that can tolerate up to about 22% ABV but it doesn't seem to go much higher than that.

How many days could you take a shit in your living room until you could no longer tolerate it? I doubt any amount of evolutionary pressure could enable you to swim in a diarrhea swimming pool.

Re:Yes, Great... (2)

adolf (21054) | about 3 years ago | (#36676666)

How many days could you take a shit in your living room until you could no longer tolerate it? I doubt any amount of evolutionary pressure could enable you to swim in a diarrhea swimming pool.

Perhaps not evolutionary pressure, but I for one would be perfectly happy to swim some laps in a diarrhea swimming pool for the correct amount of monetary pressure.

Which leads to an interesting philosophical question: Does this mean that I am better-adapted than yeast, or does it mean the opposite?

Re:Yes, Great... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676754)

A la The Magic Christian!

Re:Great... (1)

Normal Dan (1053064) | about 3 years ago | (#36676220)

Why not? Someday germs might love getting drunk.

Re:Great... (1)

LocalH (28506) | about 3 years ago | (#36676358)

No, but overuse of them can lessen our immune system's ability to practice on the nastiness that exists in the world. I would not recommend anything alcohol-based to be used with children who's development is still in progress.

Re:Great... (2)

mcsqueak (1043736) | about 3 years ago | (#36676424)

I would not recommend anything alcohol-based to be used with children who's development is still in progress.

So you're saying I shouldn't be giving my toddler bottles filled with whiskey then?

I really really need this (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 3 years ago | (#36675996)

for my ugg boots.

They smell pretty bad and it grosses the fiancee out.

Re:I really really need this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676044)

That's what she said!

Re:I really really need this (2)

Lifyre (960576) | about 3 years ago | (#36676114)

There is a time tested method to solve this problem. Burn them and buy footwear that doesn't get ruined the first time you wear it in a winter storm.

Re:I really really need this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676234)

There is a time tested method to solve this problem.

Get rid of the fiancée?

Re:I really really need this (1)

Lifyre (960576) | about 3 years ago | (#36676808)

I was assuming that was a euphemism for something closer to a power tool actually.

Re:I really really need this (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#36676280)

Freeze them. Ideally you don't want to use the freezer you store food in but it works in a pinch. Leave them in there for about two or three days and they should smell better. If that doesn't work, buy good leather shoes (or boots) so they can breathe.

Re:I really really need this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676924)

Are they waterproof? Consider soaking them in a bucket of water to which you have added several denture-cleaning tablets.

Great! (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 3 years ago | (#36675998)

Until the resistant variety comes along, that is.

What's wrong with just washing the damn things?

Re:Great! (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 3 years ago | (#36676202)

What's wrong with just washing the damn things?

It would be prohibitively expensive, and it probably wouldn't work. You would need to wash your scrubs etc. every day, immediately before starting your shift. If you washed them after your shift, then hung them up or put them in a locker, they could potentially be contaminated again. You can also pick up a pathogen when working with one patient, then carry it on your clothes to the next. If this spray makes garments permanently resistant to pathogens, even that would stop happening. It could cut down nosocomial infections a lot.

Re:Great! (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 3 years ago | (#36676412)

Sorry, but I was just talking about socks there. When it comes to white coats, why not try paper? You could impregnate it with this chemical and recycle or just throw into an incinerator after use.

Re:Great! (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 3 years ago | (#36676756)

I dunno, I kinda doubt busy professionals who spent years in medical school to get where they are would appreciate having to wear Tyvek clothes all day, when there are other solutions.

I wasn't even thinking about the sock angle, because I read TFA and it says almost nothing about that. This compound's main application is going to be in healthcare settings.

Only socks? (2)

rednip (186217) | about 3 years ago | (#36676002)

Hospital bed sheets would be my first use.

Re:Only socks? (1)

Lashat (1041424) | about 3 years ago | (#36676042)

don't forget the hotel industry. maybe this kills bedbugs too.

Re:Only socks? (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36676122)

Bedbugs? not likely. However we have something that does that: DDT

Of course, due to an emotional based attack with no basis in reality, DDT is hard to get in the US

Re:Only socks? (2)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 3 years ago | (#36676182)

The DDT story is an interesting one. It was banned after a big eco-hoo-haa, and a few decades and millions of dead Malaria victims later, it was unbanned because the science that provoked the ban in the first place turned out to be wrong. There's a lesson here somewhere, but as my karma is already low for expressing green cynicism on slashdot, I won't bother to make it.

Re:Only socks? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676914)

Hmm.. I wonder what lesson you think of.

Possibly the one in which attempts to eradicate malaria fails to do so and create resistant insects [wikipedia.org] but successfully eradicates the bald eagle and other bird/fish species [wikipedia.org] ? C'mon, don't be shy.

Re:Only socks? (5, Informative)

capedgirardeau (531367) | about 3 years ago | (#36676194)

You need to update your talking points. Bedbugs were either in the process or already resistant to DDT in many areas.

Please see:
DDT resistance: once more, with tables and sources [newyorkvsbedbugs.org]

Re:Only socks? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 3 years ago | (#36676078)

When it comes to hospital sheets I'd rather have a boil wash, followed by another one if possible.

Re:Only socks? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36676140)

Of course, but along with that, sheets treated with this could continue to kill germs and bacteria while in use. Anyone who suggest this is a replacement is simply ignorant.

Re:Only socks? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 3 years ago | (#36676238)

I freely admit I'm pretty ignorant of microbiology but given the choice I'd wager heavily that boiling water is more efficacious than than a chemical treatment. In fact, I'd go even further and also bet that adapting to such high temperatures will take a lot longer for staph. and it's ilk - we've been using it for quite some time successfully after all.

I once attended a lecture about the many useful attributes of brass (including its bacteriostatic properties) but I still wouldn't recommend it over regular hand washing. Was it even me that you were calling ignorant, anyway? I couldn't tell.

Re:Only socks? (2)

PCM2 (4486) | about 3 years ago | (#36676348)

I freely admit I'm pretty ignorant of microbiology but given the choice I'd wager heavily that boiling water is more efficacious than than a chemical treatment.

We'll agree on "at least as effective," but the problem is that you can't have your hospital staff lounge in vats of boiling water while they deal with patients. It's not like a scalpel where you use it once and throw it into the autoclave. Healthcare workers wear their garments all day.

Inviting bacteria to evolve further? (0)

PaulBu (473180) | about 3 years ago | (#36676010)

... into resistant strains?

Paul B.

Re:Inviting bacteria to evolve further? (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 3 years ago | (#36676068)

Yes, but they are doing that anyway.

As someone else pointed out, this should be being used in hospitals. This probably should not be being used in something as trivial as socks. One of the problems we're seeing with resistant bacteria is due to the overuse of antibiotics. Perhaps we need a multi-pronged approach?

Re:Inviting bacteria to evolve further? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676558)

One of the problems we're seeing with resistant bacteria is due to the overuse of antibiotics.

The misuse of antibiotics more like it. If people would finish their course of antibiotics instead of stopping when they feel better their infections wouldn't be given a chance to overcome the antibiotics. Thus the infection would not be given a chance to evolve a defense to said antibiotics.

Better living through chemicals (4, Interesting)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 3 years ago | (#36676014)

Am I the only one who has grown cautious of putting chemicals on my skin, in close contact, for many hours of the day? We'll either end up with a super bug or foot cancer...

Re:Better living through chemicals (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 3 years ago | (#36676110)

Not at all. I wish I still had mod points to mod you up. We already put a range of materials in socks, shoes, and other clothing. Some are touted as anti-fungal, others have a blanket "anti-microbial" label. I wonder what the long term effects might be...

Re:Better living through chemicals (1, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36676166)

less fungus and microbes.

So, now that I answered your question, maybe you can do less implied FUD?

Re:Better living through chemicals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676550)

Less; not none. Parent and GP are worried about superbugs by the look of it. Are you missing posts' points intentionally, or are you just an arrogant prick? By the look of your other posts I'm going to say both.

Re:Better living through chemicals (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36676144)

You don't have any air contact your skin? no moisture? no cloths? hmm, maybe you should narrow it down from 'chemicals'?

Re:Better living through chemicals (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676572)

You don't have any air contact your skin? no moisture? no cloths? hmm, maybe you should narrow it down from 'chemicals'?

From google [google.com] - Chemical (noun): A compound or substance that has been purified or prepared, esp. artificially

I think GP had his usage correct.

Sploosh! (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about 3 years ago | (#36676500)

That's why I only use natural ingredients in my shoe deodorizer: onions and peaches [imdb.com] .

It's even endorsed by the baseball legend Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston!

Re:Better living through chemicals (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#36676708)

So what exactly are your clothes made of that has no chemicals?

Resistant Germs (1)

Lifyre (960576) | about 3 years ago | (#36676034)

Much like antibiotics does this not help create resistant germs and ultimately makes some of those dangerous pathogens harder to kill? Even more so since it is constantly in contact with and battle against said pathogens?

Re:Resistant Germs (2)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 3 years ago | (#36676698)

Depends on how it works. If it's a vector that some germs can survive, like with antibiotics, then there's a chance for a new generation to be born resistant to it. If it's a physical vector that is incompatible with germ life like how alcohol basically dissolves bacterial cell membranes, then no.

It's like how the human population can become resistant to a particular virus, but no one is resistant to a bullet through the heart.

Hmm... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#36676052)

Let's see, contribute to the creation of a superbug, or wash my fucking socks? Decisions, decisions...

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

Literaphile (927079) | about 3 years ago | (#36676102)

Let's see, contribute to the creation of a superbug, or wash my fucking socks? Decisions, decisions...

You have socks just for fucking?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676152)

Business socks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGOohBytKTU

Re:Hmm... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36676212)

Probably the same black one he wears with sandals. Probably wearing them while telling [people things that clearly indicate he doesn't know WTF he is talking about. you know, when he isn't too busy doing the same thing on slashdot.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676254)

You have socks just for fucking?

Yeah, he keeps them under his mattress.

Re:Hmm... (4, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#36676332)

Let's see, contribute to the creation of a superbug, or wash my fucking socks? Decisions, decisions...

You have socks just for fucking?

You don't?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676592)

They're called Business Socks!

Re:Hmm... (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#36676652)

Let's see, contribute to the creation of a superbug, or wash my fucking socks? Decisions, decisions...

You have socks just for fucking?

You don't?

Just what I was thinking. If you're at all competent at sex, you gotta have the non-slip pads for traction, and most people would last longer (/more times) with a thick sock due to the blood pressure advantages.

Re:Hmm... (1)

BinarySolo (1951210) | about 3 years ago | (#36676636)

You know when I'm down to just my socks it's time for business, that's why they call them business socks.

Thalidomide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676088)

Thalidomide relieved pregnant women of that pesky morning sickness--and resulted in babies born with missing limbs.

I think I'll stick with smelly socks until we've had a good 20 year run with guinea pigs who are willing to buy any spiffy new thing the chemical industry comes up with.

Re:Thalidomide (2)

Verdatum (1257828) | about 3 years ago | (#36676196)

It's really hard to make socks that fit on guinea pigs.

Re:Thalidomide (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#36676684)

Most men's 9-12 socks will cover a guinea pig almost perfectly.

Ask the microbes (2)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 3 years ago | (#36676096)

Why they don't want to live in the clothing, maybe they know something you don't.

Can't wait. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676112)

. for new research to show how much cancer it causes.

Phenomenal! (1)

Kingrames (858416) | about 3 years ago | (#36676136)

Scientists have created a thing, made out of atoms, that can PERMANENTLY eliminate any possibility of other atoms being arranged in such a fashion as to inconvenience me? Huzzah! An infinite number of solutions posted to problems seemingly thought to be unsolvable in polynomial time! Mathematics has been defeated! Long live ...US SCIENTISTS!

morons.

Re:Phenomenal! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36676204)

You , sir, are the moron. If you had an IQ big enough to be able to click on the link, you would have noted it's many uses in killing things that want to kill you or at the very least, give you a very miserable few weeks. The socks bit is a fringe benefit and a headline to grab people attention.
Because you are clearly simpleton I'll explain it is a a way you cam understand: This is a good thing.

Re:Phenomenal! (1)

Kingrames (858416) | about 3 years ago | (#36676304)

The words "Permanently germ-free" should never be promised on anything larger than an atom. You show me a germ-free surface, I'll show you a lazy germ.

Re:Phenomenal! (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 3 years ago | (#36676724)

You know how some stop lights have those little spikes on them the keep birds from landing on them and pooping on cars below? I wouldn't say those stop lights are bird free due to "lazy birds". I suspect for this to work at all it has to rely on making the environment physically unsuitable for micro-organisms in a similar fashion. I would like to say I know this, but the article is pretty stingy on details.

Re:Phenomenal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676806)

Does the surface of the Sun count?

Re:Phenomenal! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#36676860)

You show me a germ-free surface, I'll show you a lazy germ.

What about the surface of the sun?

Re:Phenomenal! (1)

CubicleView (910143) | about 3 years ago | (#36676446)

He could be referring to the last link. Useful arrangement of atoms sounds about right.

"Locklin's technology uses ingeniously simple, inexpensive and scalable chemistry."

Amazing... (1)

Zephyn (415698) | about 3 years ago | (#36676162)

The effort some people will go to just to avoid having to do the laundry.

Re:Amazing... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#36676884)

Well, socks that only start to smell after removing them in the evening would already be a great win.

will they can crack stain resistance next? (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about 3 years ago | (#36676240)

Then we can throw away our pocket protectors and blend into society.

Patent-free alternative (1)

macraig (621737) | about 3 years ago | (#36676244)

Vinegar and rubbing alcohol will do a fine job of creating a microbe-free zone, but you might smell a bit more like sour wine than you'd like.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676274)

"Locklin's technology uses ingeniously simple, inexpensive and scalable chemistry."

I've heard almost the same thing about "free energy" magnetic motors. Tell us what the chemicals are or it's bullshit.

Re:Bullshit (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#36676916)

"Locklin's technology uses ingeniously simple, inexpensive and scalable chemistry."

I've heard almost the same thing about "free energy" magnetic motors. Tell us what the chemicals are or it's bullshit.

Somehow I think using bullshit would make your feet smell more (but admittedly it wouldn't be the typical foot smell) :-)

How it works (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676310)

I normally don't post on slashdot, but since this is related to my field (I am a chemist) and there have been a lot of comments about how bad this must be because of the possibility of building resistance, I felt obligated to clarify this after looking into it.

As far as anti-microbial substances work, this is about as simple as it gets. All bacteria have cell membranes consisting of a lipid bilayer - it's basically two layers of negatively-charged water-loving stuff attached to a fatty part in the middle that stays away from water. This treatment uses a polymer that can pass through the cell membrane, with positively-charged bits making it inside the membrane. The positively-charged parts on the polymer attract the negatively-charged parts on the membrane and cause it to come apart enough for the cell to die.

Many other antibiotics are based on small molecules that interrupting some metabolic process of bacteria. Bacteria develop resistance by making enzymes that will break down these small molecules once inside the cell. This new method attacks the outside of the cell directly, not something inside the cell. It wouldn't be impossible for bacteria to develop immunity to this, but it would be comparably very improbable.

Since we're mostly bacteria ourselves (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#36676344)

We're all gonna die!

BAH - They've been promising this stuff for over ten years now. I remember seeing it on that show "Beyond 2000" back in '98... Still waiting for it

On /., so I'm smarter by default... (1)

MMAfrk19BB (2029982) | about 3 years ago | (#36676346)

To all the people posting about ultra-resistant super MRSA mega death bacteria forming because I crack open a bottle of Dawn occasionally, haven't you ever heard of defense in depth? Also, what about this study [plosone.org] which suggests that a combination of antibiotics may be more effective against resistant bugs? This shit happens all the time on /. Whatever trendy counter-intuitive "wisdom" there is on a subject is repeated and subsequently shit on ad nauseum. Isn't this the home of RTFA?

Isn't this the home of RTFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676426)

No it's the home of telling other people to RTFA, or pre-posing a statement with the admission that you haven't. Sometimes both.

Just wash (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 3 years ago | (#36676364)

While this might eliminate cleaning due to bacteria, this won't resolve the issue of dirt built up.

As to socks, just wear sandals :)

Re:Just wash (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 3 years ago | (#36676496)

Sandals invariably reek though, requiring frequent applications of tea tree oil or febreeze.

Cookie Absent (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#36676400)

47 comments and no one noticed that the link was broken? Sure there's a BBC link, but it tells you exactly nothing. Doesn't even tell you what it is. I know slashdotters seldom read the articles, but come on.

Re:Cookie Absent (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 3 years ago | (#36676456)

LOL... I was gonna make the same comment. Took me 30 seconds to log in first, or I'd have beaten you to it.

Re:Cookie Absent (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#36676468)

It's the scientists fault. They ate my cookie... I would have gone to the article.. if I hadn't heard this story so many times

Permanently germ free (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#36676578)

or in other words permanently free of germs that haven't developed resistance to another potential treatment for when they make you sick.

Ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676588)

How odd this story comes up when I am watching, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids TV episode "Honey, You're So Transparent".

Working link to actual paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676600)

Link to the paper since nobody seems to actually click on the links and see 'cookieabsent.html'

http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/am200324f

Re:Working link to actual paper (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676672)

thx, was looking for that

also, clicky
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/am200324f [doi.org]

Re:Working link to actual paper (2)

slew (2918) | about 3 years ago | (#36676766)

And since nobody probably will click on that link either, here's a convenient summary

Antimicrobial copolymers of hydrophobic N-alkyl and benzophenone containing polyethylenimines were synthesized from commercially available linear poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline), and covalently attached to surfaces of synthetic polymers, cotton, and modified silicon oxide using mild photo-cross-linking. Specifically, these polymers were applied to polypropylene, poly(vinyl chloride), polyethylene, cotton, and alkyl-coated oxide surfaces using solution casting or spray coating and then covalently cross-linked rendering permanent, nonleaching antimicrobial surfaces. The photochemical grafting of pendant benzophenones allows immobilization to any surface that contains a C–H bond. Incubating the modified materials with either Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli demonstrated that the modified surfaces had substantial antimicrobial capacity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (>98% microbial death).

For folks not in the "know", the basic anti-microbial technique is described in this wiki page [wikipedia.org] .

Side effects may include... (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 3 years ago | (#36676622)

Gas, bloating, confusion, reverse mermaid, anal leakage, suicide, bad breath, explosive diarrhea, fire, missing teeth, unexpected death, unexplained pregnancy, moles, sawdust, traffic congestion, slight bleeding from the ear canal, voice immodulation, income tax, vaginal leakage( in men), religious intolerance, elves, anal fissures, webbed toes, sleep-driving, and rectal myopia.

One problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676668)

The down side is that it turns your feet purple -- permanently.

But at least your socks won't stink! :-)

You accidentally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676732)

the paper link

Just use Ammonium Alum (3, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | about 3 years ago | (#36676748)

Okay here's a semi-secret which shouldn't be so secret. I use something called PitRok [amazon.co.uk] Crystal Deodorant (perhaps try this [amazon.com] if you're US based), but any Ammonium Alum based deodorant will be good. It's meant for the armpits, but I find it works good on feet too. 5 stars on Amazon.co.uk by almost everyone including me.

I only wish I knew about this sooner. It's completely odorless and nonsticky, which is great, but also lasts over a year (you wet its hard crystal tip and apply). Anybody who benefits from this, feel free to buy me a beer or 10 according to how generous you feel.

proceed with caution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36676774)

You don't want to end up with yet another cure is worse than the disease scenario.
asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), any one of a litany of popular pharmaceuticals (the cures your acne but gives you hemmorrhoids scenario), ...

Actual article link and abstract (1)

apokruphos (911590) | about 3 years ago | (#36676910)

The antimicrobial action is hypothesized to be largely physical (disruption of the cell membrane leading to cell death). Barring some relatively significant mutations that greatly change the overall structure of the bacteria, a "resistance" would be relatively unlikely.

Here is the actual article link, since it's busted in the summary:
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/am200324f [acs.org]
or
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/am200324f [doi.org]

Abstract:

One-Step Photochemical Synthesis of Permanent, Nonleaching, Ultrathin Antimicrobial Coatings for Textiles and Plastics

Antimicrobial copolymers of hydrophobic N-alkyl and benzophenone containing polyethylenimines were synthesized from commercially available linear poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline), and covalently attached to surfaces of synthetic polymers, cotton, and modified silicon oxide using mild photo-cross-linking. Specifically, these polymers were applied to polypropylene, poly(vinyl chloride), polyethylene, cotton, and alkyl-coated oxide surfaces using solution casting or spray coating and then covalently cross-linked rendering permanent, nonleaching antimicrobial surfaces. The photochemical grafting of pendant benzophenones allows immobilization to any surface that contains a C–H bond. Incubating the modified materials with either Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli demonstrated that the modified surfaces had substantial antimicrobial capacity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (>98% microbial death).
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