Antimicrobial Coating Moves From Heart Valves To Door Handles

Microbiology students at Penn State-Erie treated the handles with a silver-based compound and found that they successfully killed bacteria transferred to them from a person's hand.

What's the Latest Development?


A silver-based coating that kills any bacteria with which it comes into contact may soon appear on many more public surfaces, if Advanced Finishing USA president Greg Yahn has his way. His company adds the coating, called Agion silver, to hospital doors, and he enlisted the help of professors and students at Pennsylvania State University-Erie to find more uses for the material and figure out a way to market it. The students applied it to door handles throughout certain campus buildings, and later tests showed that the treated handles were noticeably cleaner.

What's the Big Idea?

Agion silver is used on objects ranging from heart valves and catheters to pens and shoes. However, most people aren't aware of its antimicrobial properties, and in fact, says Yahn, the clear finish his company uses doesn't give any clues that it's even there. To help increase awareness, the students built a marketing campaign and interviewed shoppers to learn about their germaphobic tendencies. Ultimately, they want to create an industry-standard logo that can be applied to treated surfaces, letting people know that they can touch those surfaces without needing to pull out the hand sanitizer afterwards.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Phys.org

Study: Selfies are perceived far more negatively than ‘posies’

In a new study, people who posted a lot of selfies were generally viewed as less likeable and more lonely.

Kim Kardashian/Instagram
Surprising Science
  • A new study examined how people perceive others' Instagram accounts, and whether those perceptions match up with how the posters rate their own personalities.
  • The results show that people react far more positively to "posies," which are photos of the poster taken by another person.
  • Still, it remains unclear exactly why people view selfies relatively negatively.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less

Vaping changes blood vessels after one use, even without nicotine

E-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but they come with their own risks.


John Keeble
/GETTY
Surprising Science
  • A new study used an MRI machine to examine how vaping e-cigarettes affects users' cardiovascular systems immediately after inhalation.
  • The results showed that vaping causes impaired circulation, stiffer arteries and less oxygen in their blood.
  • The new study adds to a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes – while likely safer than traditional cigarettes – are far from harmless.
Keep reading Show less