MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Does antibacterial soap kill bacteria? If not what does is do?

Date: Sat May 9 05:27:27 1998
Posted By: Aninda Sinha, Undergraduate, Physics, Jadavpur University
Area of science: Physics
ID: 890966045.Ph

Woala, Vanessa,
    Hi! You have said that your question deals with physics though I am 
led to believe that it is very biological in nature. Actually it's the way 
that you look at things. Life and death are of course, in a way, physical!!
   Any way, jokes apart, let me try and remove your paranoia about these 
little mischievous creatures. Bacteria are not always harmful as we are 
led to believe. Fermentation is a splendid example. Of course, most of the 
time these little devils can be quite a pain in the whatever!
    Firstly, there are medicines which are technically termed as anti-
biotics which can make these creatures vamoose---they prevent their 
multiplication in the human body, topically or atopically by  making them 
deceased. Though temperature affects their survival in so far as there 
exists something known as optimal temperature for their survival and 
flourishing, killing them is not exactly whether you can reach a critical 
killing temperature or not. If you want more technical information you can 
try giving the search-word "antibiotics and functioning" in some search-
engine like web-crawler or alta-vista-digital. Of course, nowadays, 
scientists have their hands full as drug-resistant bacteria are evolving. 
That is why doctors will forbid you from using anti-biotics for a 
prolonged period of time. It's the bacteria's way of saying: So there!
     The last sentence obviously should have convinced you that there is 
no single effective way of making your house-hold bacteria-free. It's just 
not possible--neither practically nor theoretically. All that you can hope 
for is that your surroundings don't become a breeding ground for the 
dangerous breeds of these micro-organisms. Hygiene and sanitation are the 
only feasible ways.
      Of course, since I happen to be an under-grad, you may not be too 
convinced with my answer. Moreover, I believe if you want a far more 
technical and convincing answer you should post your question indicating 
biology as your area of interest.


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