Meet antivitamins. They may replace your antibiotics one day

German researchers have just solved the mystery of how these substances work.

  • As pathogens' resistance grows, scientists are searching for a class of drugs that could replace antibiotics.
  • Antivitamins that switch off vitamins in bacteria are being investigated.
  • Scientists have been struggling to understand how naturally occurring antivitamins do what they do.

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Man whose stomach brewed beer is cured—by a poop transplant​

The human body is endlessly fascinating.

Photo: Chris Howey / Shutterstock
  • Last year, it was reported that a Belgian man arrested for drunk driving brewed the alcohol in his own gut.
  • The disorder, auto-brewery syndrome, occurred after he took a round of antibiotics.
  • He was cured after a fecal donation from his daughter.
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Ask a Chemist: How does handwashing kill coronavirus?

The physical action of handwashing plus the properties of soap is a one-two punch for the virus.

  • A common recommendation from experts to help protect against coronavirus is to wash your hands often, but why? It turns out that each time you do it is an effective two-pronged attack.
  • As Kate the Chemist explains, the virus has a weak outer membrane. By using the proper handwashing technique, you're actually breaking through that membrane and ripping the virus apart.
  • Soap is an important part of the equation because of its two sides: the hydrophobic side (which grabs onto the virus), and the hydrophilic side (which grabs onto the water). Washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds allows the virus to be rinsed away.

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Kate the Chemist: Water is a freak substance. Here’s why.

Dr. Kate Biberdorf explains why boiling water makes it safer and how water molecules are unusual and cool.

  • University of Texas professor and science entertainer Kate the Chemist joined Big Think to talk about water molecules and to answer two interesting and important questions: Why does boiling water make it safe to drink, and what happens to water when you boil or freeze it?
  • According to Kate, when water is heated to a certain temperature (100°C/ 212°F) the hydrogen bonds break and it goes from a liquid to a gas state. Boiling for a minimum of 5 minutes kills any viruses and bacteria that were in the water.
  • "Water is a freak and so it is one of my favorite molecules ever," Kate says. "It has these unique properties and we are surrounded by it constantly. We also are made of water. We have to drink water to survive...It's a really, really fun molecule to investigate."

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Why does coronavirus kill more men than women? Researchers may have found an important clue.

Men take longer to clear COVID-19 from their systems; a male-only coronavirus repository may be why.

(Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
  • A new study found that women clear coronavirus from their systems much faster than men.
  • The researchers hypothesize that high concentrations of ACE2-expressing cells in the testes may store more coronavirus.
  • There are many confounding factors to this mystery—some genetic, others social and behavioral.
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