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Disease Vectors

Staphylococcus on human skin

Applications to everyday life

  • Hand Washing - Handwashing is used  to prevent the transmission of antibiotic resistant skin flora that cause hospital-acquired infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Gloves Medical workers wear gloves to protect themselves from germs. 
  • Masks - Medical workers also wear masks over their nose and mouth so they don’t breathe germs on their patients.
  • Hand Sanitizers - Hand sanitizers use alcohol to kill germs – the germs are still there, but they’re dead. Hand sanitizers don’t remove stuff from your hands.
  • Dressings - Wounds are covered to reduce chance of infection

Historical Perspective

  • Ignaz Semmelweis figured out that washing hands prevented sickness in the 1840’s, but didn’t have a way to explain why.
  • Joseph Lister was the first surgeon to clean instruments and his hands with antiseptic chemicals that kill germs. Deaths in his hospital fell by two-thirds after he started keeping everything clean.

Other Applications of UV Light

EM Spectrum


Mineral Identification

Currencty Identification