What’s in Your Wallet? A Whole Lot of Germs

Open your wallet. Pull out a dollar bill. You’ve just touched more than 3,000 bacteria that have been linked to stomach ulcers, acne, pneumonia and staph infections. (Thinking about using that plastic credit card more often now?) These kinds of microbes, which are found on many surfaces, are transferred when we touch things. Money, in particular, gets handed around a lot, say researchers with New York University’s aptly named Dirty Money Project. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun. 1. Captured Burmese pythons will slither home in a straight line for many miles. (Learn more at Discovery) 2. A photographer has a way of making sick kids’ dreams come to life. (Learn more at Huffington Post) >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter 3. Some bad fats may not be so bad for us after all. (Learn more at AARP) 4. California, Berkeley claims it has hired the first university Wikipedian-in-residence.  (Learn more at Library …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The latest food fad, this one in Milwaukee: Mac and Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Weave Taco. (Learn more at Gothamist) 2. The latest quest for the fountain of youth: A DNA sequencing company called Human Longevity. (Learn more at NY Times) 3. Saturated fats (butter, bacon, beef) make your belly bigger, while other fats (fish, nuts, olive oil) help build muscle. (Learn more at AARP) 4. Stethoscopes are germier than doctors’ hands. (Learn more at NBC News) …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Francis is the first pope on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. (Learn more at Rolling Stone) 2. The Grand Canyon could be 6 million years old … and 70 million years old. (Learn more at NPR) 3. Men are more forgetful than women. (Learn more at Medical News Today) 4. Your cellphone carries 10 times more germs than your toilet. (Learn more at AARP) 5. Cyber criminals are using malicious “RAM scraper” software to steal information about you and …

Your Cellphone Has More Germs Than Your Toilet

It’s certainly extreme, but a recent news story points up how germy a cellphone can be. Reports say a man who stole a cellphone from an Ebola virus quarantine ward in a Ugandan hospital ended up apparently catching the virus from germs on the phone. Obviously, most of us aren’t in close proximity to an Ebola outbreak – or likely to be pinching a phone from a dangerously ill person – but germ expert Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist at …

What’s Lurking in Your Refrigerator Drawers?

Which of your kitchen appliances or utensils has the most germs? It’s not, as most people in a new survey guessed, the keypad on the microwave. Or even that gunky can opener, the second most common answer. In terms of the pathogens that could really make you ill – E. coli, salmonella and listeria – the top three offenders were the refrigerator meat and vegetable drawers, followed by the blender gasket – that floppy ring that fits around the appliance’s …