5-speed listening (Self-Cleaning Plastic - Level 6)

Scientists create plastic that repels all bacteria



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A revolutionary new plastic could help to prevent bacteria and superbugs causing disease and illness. Scientists have developed a new kind of transparent, plastic wonder-wrap. They say it will drastically cut incidences of microbe transfer in hospitals, restaurants, kitchens, bathrooms and other places where bugs lie in wait. The plastic was created by researchers from McMaster University in Canada. They say their material can repel all forms of bacteria, including superbugs like MRSA. The material is like a conventional transparent wrap used to cover food. It can be shrink-wrapped to protect places that attract bacteria, like worktops, door handles, taps, hospital equipment and food containers.

The researchers said the inspiration for their new material came from the lotus plant. They attempted to replicate the method in which the leaves of this plant repelled water. Drops of water either sit on the surface of the leaves or bounce off. Researcher Leyla Soleymani wanted to apply that process to the new plastic. She said: "We're structurally tuning that plastic. This material gives us something that can be applied to all kinds of things." Another researcher, Tohid Didar, said: "We can see this technology being used in all kinds of institutional and domestic settings. As the world confronts the crisis of anti-microbial resistance, we hope it will become an important part of the anti-bacterial toolbox."

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