Tagged With bacteria

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Even at our cleanest, we are covered in germs and we are full of germs. It's ok! That's totally normal. These microorganisms are essential to our health. You probably don't need to mess with them, but if you'd like to try, the terms to know are prebiotics and probiotics.

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Sweaty clothes stink, but sweaty workout clothes stink worst of all. Like those synthetic-fibre leggings, those sweat-wicking socks, those "technical" tees? Phew. These fabrics are especially prone to harbouring the smelliest bacteria.

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Each time an epidemic of bubonic plague hit London between the 14th and 17th centuries, about 20% of the capital's population was wiped out. This led to graveyards and cemeteries becoming overcrowded and the need to bury victims of the plague in mass graves. The London Underground has often been cited as being built over or through these plague pits, but the story of these mass graves is far more interesting than that.

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You wipe your kitchen sponge all over the grossest things in your sink, so it makes sense that it would accumulate some pretty gross bacteria. But is it possible to clean or sanitise that sponge? Yes, it turns out -- but only as a short-term fix.

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Imagine this: You’re an elite athlete, and you’ve spent years working towards your shot at Olympic glory. You’ve trained hard, been totally dedicated to your sport and now, here you are in Rio, getting ready for the pinnacle of your sporting career. It’s your time to shine. But suddenly, without warning, you are hit with stomach cramps. It’s not nerves – it’s more intense than that. Vomiting and diarrhoea kick in. Slowly and devastatingly, your chances of success go down the toilet.

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As you sip a cup of coffee, enjoy a rich chocolate treat or savour the aroma of a piece of Roquefort cheese, have you ever considered the extraordinary contribution made by the microscopic creatures that have worked so hard for your pleasure? While many of us shirk at the thought of consuming bacteria or fungus, without them we wouldn't have many of our favourite foods.