Volume 86 Issue 46 | p. 55 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 17, 2008

Bleach Kills Bacteria On Multiple Fronts

Two studies reveal how hypochlorous acid, HOCl, the active ingredient in bleach, can kill bacteria by different mechanisms
Department: Science & Technology

The battle between bleach and bacteria is unequal, and two research groups think they have discovered some reasons why. People use hypochlorous acid (HOCl), the active ingredient in bleach, to rid their homes of bacteria. Immune cells in mammals carry out their own version of this housekeeping by engulfing invading bacteria and killing them with HOCl. Melanie S. A. Coker of the University of Otago, in Christchurch, New Zealand, and colleagues propose that HOCl . . .

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