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3260 PWToday Stories

Cuts for NHS IT

08 Dec 09

Watch out Superbugs

26 Nov 09

According to researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, led by Gregor Morfill, and published in the New Journal of Physics, plasma devices could help rid hands, feet, or even underarms of bacteria, including the hospital superbug MRSA.


The device works by creating something called a plasma, which produces a cocktail of chemicals in air that kill bacteria but are harmless to skin.


"The plasma produces a series of over 200 chemical reactions that involve the oxygen and nitrogen in air plus water vapour - there is a whole concotion of chemical species that can be lethal to bacteria," he told BBC News.


Gregor Morfill and his team claim that an exposure to the plasma of only about 12 seconds reduces the incidence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi on hands by a factor of a million - a number that stands in sharp contrast to the several minutes hospital staff can take to wash using traditional soap and water.



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