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Sponges Still Septic After Microwave/Dishwasher 
Kitchen sponges are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of microorganisms, including pathogens. Now we learn that two popular ways which have developed to disinfect sponges just plain don’t work; microwaving them or putting them through the dishwasher leaves loads of viable microbes intact. Curiously, the study that found these results didn’t appear to assess disinfecting solutions, such as bleach, the standard approach in food service. At any rate, Ars Technica has the story: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/kitchen-sponges-are-festering-germ-dens-and-sanitizing-them-doesnt-help/

Drug Expiration Dates Described as “Myth” 
Most drugs have rather short assigned shelf lives. Characteristically, once past their expiration date, such drugs are discarded, at significant financial and environmental cost. This leaves researchers with few samples of aged drugs to test for potency, so you can imagine the excitement some felt to discover a cache of forgotten prescription drugs dating to the 1960s. The results of testing those pharmaceuticals were eye opening. The great majority of the drugs had maintained potency at or near original levels. ProPublica reports: https://www.propublica.org/article/the-myth-of-drug-expiration-dates

Acetaminophen Found to Inhibit Empathy 
It looks like you may have to add acetaminophen to the list of mood-altering drugs, and not for the better. A couple recent experiments suggest the drug reduces a person’s ability to feel empathetic. The Washington Post has an account of the news: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/12/this-popular-painkiller-also-kills-kindness/?utm_term=.1b7f175174c8

Area of the Brain Promotes Physical Youth 
Evidence is growing that the hypothalamus plays a key role in aging. Recent research with mice found that neural stem cells in that part of the brain seemed key to the rate of aging. Ars Technica has more: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/neural-stem-cells-linked-to-maintenance-of-youth/

 

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