Happy Thanksgiving, Iggy and Flo!

by Erica Mitchell | November 27 2014

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We have so many individuals to be thankful for when it comes to advances in healthcare. From the author of the Kahun medical papyrus, dated at 1800 BCE (and thought to be a copy of an even older document), to the modern-day scientists developing genetically-based cancer treatments, the history of medical science is rich with brilliant innovators. Alas, not all of those innovators were celebrated in their day, while others were even vilified.

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The Most Contaminated and Most Touched Surfaces in a Patient Room

by Erica Mitchell | November 24 2014

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I just touched that stair rail! What could be on it? Oh no - I also pushed that elevator button and that person just coughed! 

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The Most Common Sites and Types of Hospital Acquired Infections

by Erica Mitchell | November 19 2014

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We are all covered in bacteria. (You could even say we are all contaminated.) Bacteria and other microorganisms live in our gut, in our mucous membranes such as our nostrils, on our eyelashes, and in our bellybuttons. We do not consider ourselves infected, however, because these organisms have not crossed the barrier of our skin to enter our tissues, muscles, bones, and body cavities. These deep parts of our bodies are basically sterile - no microorganisms live there at all. As long as our protective barriers are not breached, we remain healthy. The "contamination" is just part of our microbiome, our own personal little collection of life that we carry around with us all the time. This microbiome is made up of colonies of bacteria, groups of same-species bacteria that live and die without our even being aware of them.

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Our Love/Hate Relationship with Bacteria

by Erica Mitchell | November 12 2014


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What is bacteria?

Bacteria are single-cell organisms. Where humans are made up of, on average 1 trillion cells, bacteria are made up of just one. But one isn't the loneliest number when it comes to bacteria; they reproduce very efficiently by splitting into two, who then go on to split into two more… and on until you have a colony of bacteria. Some of these  colonies are beneficial to us, some don't harm us at all, and some are downright nasty, leading to harmful infections which can threaten our lives.

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Just how does copper kill germs?

by Erica Mitchell | November 12 2014


Call_To_Action_5_Kill_missy_SMALL-01As reports of Ebola and other infectious pathogens makes headlines, our attention is drawn to the technologies being developed to fight these germs. Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms threaten human lives, but not just in the "hot zone" of terrifying infections such as Ebola. We want to know what kills them, and we want it now!

Interestingly, plain copper, the stuff of pennies and the Statue of Liberty, has powerful antimicrobial properties. In fact, copper was used by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and others to carry and store water, line pipes and barrels, and on boats because they could tell by observation that items with copper had the abiltiy to keep water free from spoilage and wood free from parasites.

What the ancients could observe, science can now explain.

How does copper kill bacteria? It is not through some kind of new age or magical properties - just plain old rust. Copper kills bacteria through 5 main pathways, also called, "kill mechanisms." (Doesn't that just sound so much better?)

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Hospital Acquired Infections: Kickin' You When You're Already Down

by Erica Mitchell | November 12 2014


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