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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: How Clean Is Your Hotel Room?
17 June 2012 2:00 pm
When you've collapsed in a comfortable hotel bed at the end of a full day of vacationing, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not a previous guest left germs behind. But germs are invisible to the naked eye, so how do hotel housekeepers—who have an average of 30 minutes to clean a room—make sure their job is well done? In Texas, Indiana, and South Carolina, researchers tested levels of bacteria on 162 surfaces in nine hotel rooms after they'd been cleaned. While door handles, showers, and carpets had been mostly scoured of germs, objects including light switches, remotes, bathroom sinks, and telephone keypads still had high levels of bacteria. And the worst offenders: mops, sponges, and gloves on the housekeeper's cleaning cart. Rather than send a scare message to hotel-goers, the researchers hope the data, presented today at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Francisco, will help housekeeping managers optimize their cleaning procedures. Housekeepers could be encouraged to spend more time on the items found to remain contaminated after cleaning, for example. Hotels could then retest rooms at random to check whether the alternate cleaning measures are working out. Until then, sleep tight.
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