EOScu Clinical Trial Results Are In: Significant Reductions in HAIs at Sentara Leigh Hospital

by Erica Mitchell | October 26 2016

We've spent a lot of time at this blog discussing the rigors of scientific research. We've covered the emerging dangers of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and the many ways hospitals wage war against them. And we've even covered ways that you can help your nurses and doctors keep you safer. Today, we have the opportunity to bring all these topics together into probably our most important post to date: We are finally able to announce that the clinical trial testing the efficacy of EOScu Preventive | Biocidal Surfaces and copper-infused linens resulted in statistically significant reductions in hospital-associated infections (HAIs). Published in the American Journal of Infection Control, this study - the largest of its kind in the world - shows that copper-impregnated hard surfaces (EOScu) and linens (Cupron Medical Textiles) resulted in an 83% reduction in C. difficile infections and a 78% reduction in overall infections due to multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) and C. difficile. Here's an overview of the trial, which you can read in full here.

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Happy Birthday, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek!

by Erica Mitchell | October 24 2016

Today we celebrate the birth of an scientist known as the Father of Microbiology for his role in the use of lenses to observe the microscopic world. Optics and lens-making developed quickly in 16-17th century Europe, allowing research to expand to the universe. But just as lenses could sharpen light from far away, allowing Galileo to see Jupiter's moons, it could also magnify objects right in the laboratory. The microscope was invented by several lens makers at around the same time in the late 1500s and the technology spread throughout Europe. In the 1660s, however, the use of microscopes for intense research grew explosively. Discovery after discovery began to lay the groundwork for modern biology. 

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International Infection Prevention Week 2016: "Break the Chain of Infection"

by Erica Mitchell | October 21 2016

Our series on Politics and Science will continue next week!

This week has been International Infection Prevention Week, an annual event to bring awareness of infection prevention to both the healthcare provider and consumer. This year's theme is "Break the Chain of Infection." Check out their infographic below.

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Science and Politics, Part 3: Funding Science

by Erica Mitchell | October 14 2016

The US government is one of the largest funders of scientific study in the world. The National Institutes of Science alone funds more medical research than any other source globally. How does the federal government allocate funds to study science? Who decides what goes where? And what role does the President play in this funding? Today we will delve into the complicated process of funding allocations, and how that money funds science.

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Science and Politics, Part 2: The President's Role

by Erica Mitchell | October 6 2016

Our previous post began a series exploring the role of American presidents and the advancement of science, beginning with our Founding Fathers. Today we continue this discussion with examples of how presidents and science have interacted over the history of our nation. We discovered that the presidential role in science, while sometimes simply as leader or visionary, more often takes the role of facilitator - and most importantly, but modeling an acceptance of scientific authority for the nation. Let’s look at the events that bring us to this conclusion.

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Science and Politics, Part 1: Our Founding Fathers

by Erica Mitchell | September 30 2016

As we enter the heated month before Election Day, we are going to take an opportunity to explore the relationship between science and our government over the course of a few blog posts. We’ll explore a few key questions: How important was science to the Founding Fathers who penned the documents that still guide us today? How have Presidents interacted with the advancement of science since the birth of our nation? Just how involved is our current government in science, and finally, how do the two major party candidates differ with relation to science? Stay with us over the next few weeks to find out!

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P value: What's Chance Got to Do With It?

by Erica Mitchell | September 23 2016

In scientific research, we test interventions to a problem and then measure the result: Did a medication improve patient outcomes? Did a training program lead to improved hand hygiene? Did copper-impregnated materials reduce the number of healthcare-associated infections? Simple before-and-after measurement is not enough when it comes to generating strong evidence. While the patients, the hand hygiene, and the infection rates may improve, it is vital to demonstrate that the intervention being studied was the cause of that improvement. How does a researcher demonstrate strong evidence? This post will explore the statistical representation of strength of evidence: The p value.

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Back to School Bacteria

by Erica Mitchell | September 16 2016

Millions of American children returned to school this week, officially kicking off the academic year filled promise. Alongside the promise of learning new things comes another promise: The certainty of picking up some kind of bug that will cause anything from the sniffles to time in bed. Today we'll explore some of the major pathogens that strike in busy classrooms full of kids as well as a few steps you can take to avoid some of those hallway bullies.

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Women's Equality Day: Science Edition

by Erica Mitchell | August 26 2016

Less than 100 years ago today, American women were given the right to vote. For less than half of that time, August 26th has been recognized as Women’s Equality Day, a day to celebrate the struggles and successes of this movement to allow women to have a say in elections, and a voice in society as a whole. This struggle for a say and a voice continues, and while there has been tremendous progress, this struggle is quite visible in the world of science. Today’s post will celebrate the achievements of female scientists, while also discussing the two major obstacles women in science face, even today.

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Sickly Stowaways: Pathogens on a Plane

by Erica Mitchell | August 19 2016

Today is National Aviation Day, a day to celebrate the many achievements in air travel over the decades since two brothers flew over the dunes of Kitty Hawk, NC. It is also a day when millions will start heading home from Rio’s Summer Olympics via airplane. Therefore, our attention turns to the aircraft that will carry them there, and the stowaways traveling right under their noses (and fingertips): Microorganisms.

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