Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Future Paint Kills Germs, Cheese Kills Intestinal Worms

Product manufacturers are hard at work on a couple of strange, perfectly practical new products.

First, an engineering breakthrough now allows manufacturers to efficiently add nanoparticles to paint that can kill germs, in particular serial killers like E. coli and Staphylococcus. This according to
a report at CNET News.com.

Not only would the paint keep itself clean of harmful bacteria, it’s an environmentally-friendly, vegetable oil-based alternative to the regular stuff.

Another product innovation comes courtesy of Kraft. The food giant is partnering up with “safe pesticides” company TyraTech to develop a line of “food that is not only tasty, but kills intestinal worms,”
reports the NY Times. The product line is aimed at areas where intestinal worms are a big problem, places where sanitation is inadequate, like rural parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

According to the Times report, intestinal worms affect millions of children worldwide. Symptoms include fatigue, anemia and bloody discharge.

The active ingredient in worm-fighting foods will be a mix of plant oils that disrupt the nervous systems of worms (because they have nerve receptors for the oil molecules), but not people (which don’t have the right receptors).

There are skeptics. One expert points out that the irritating oils may simply drive intestinal worms to other organs in the body.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.