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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
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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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