Mystery solved: How bleach kills germs

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Associate Professor Ursula Jakob (L) and Jeannette Winter, Ph.D. in an undated photo courtesy of the University of Michigan. Bleach has been killing germs for more than 200 years but U.S. scientists have just figured out how the cleaner does its dirty work. (Handout/Reuters)

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Associate Professor Ursula Jakob (L) and Jeannette Winter, Ph.D. in an undated photo courtesy of the University of Michigan. Bleach has been killing germs for more than 200 years but U.S. scientists have just figured out how the cleaner does its dirty work. (Handout/Reuters)

Bleach has been killing germs for more than 200 years but U.S. scientists have just figured out how the cleaner does its dirty work.

It seems that hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient in bleach, attacks proteins in bacteria, causing them to clump up much like an egg that has been boiled, a team at the University of Michigan reported in the journal Cell on Thursday.

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Published in: on November 15, 2008 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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