6 things science is revealing about your skin and hygiene

Unfortunately, "less is better" is not a catchy marketing slogan.

Credit: Yakobchuk Olena / Adobe Stock
  • For his new book, "Clean: The New Science of Skin," physician James Hamblin didn't shower for five years.
  • Soap is a relatively simple concoction; you're mostly paying for marketing and scent.
  • While hygiene is important, especially during a pandemic, Hamblin argues that we're cleaning too much.
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Finland is the 'most sustainable' country, say expats

India finishes last of 60 countries in environment and sustainability, as ranked by the expats who work there.

Image: Environment & Sustainability Ranking, an Expat Insider topical report published by InterNations
  • How 'green' is life in your work country?
  • That's the question InterNations asked its network of expats.
  • The United States ended 30th out of 60 countries.
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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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How various levels of social distancing can decrease the spread of COVID-19

Understanding the math behind social distancing.

Photo by galsand on Shutterstock
  • Proper social distancing includes staying 6ft (2m) away from other people, avoiding all non-essential gatherings or crowds, and working from home if possible.
  • During the COVID-19 incubation period of 5 days, each infected person can infect 2.5 more people.
  • Using this math, it's easy to determine how many people will go on to be infected after the initial person contracted COVID-19 using various levels of social distancing (0%, 50% and 75% examples are found in this article).
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Do you have a cold, the flu, or COVID-19?

What symptoms to watch for, how to get tested, what to do if you're sick, and when to go to the doctor.

Credit: Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris, The Spinoff
  • Differences in symptoms exist between a cold, the flu and coronavirus.
  • The CDC issued specific recommendations about what to do if you're sick and when to get tested.
  • Calling the doctor is important if you feel sick or have questions.
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