Chlorinated Silk Kills Bacillus Spores, ACS Reports

The American Chemical Society has published a podcast describing how to make "killer silk."  Rajesh R. Naik, a PhD and scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and his colleague came up with killer silk.

Listen to the podcast here.

The podcast says people can make killer silk using an inexpensive drip-and-dry treament. The treatment produces a chlorinated silk that can kill disease-causing bacteria in minutes.

It explains that Bacillus bacteria become dormant spores during adverse conditions, enclosing themselves in a tough coating that allows them to survive heat, radiation, and antibiotics. Treating some fabrics with chlorine compounds or other oxidizing agents makes them effective against many bacteria, but they are not as effective against spores. Naik and his colleagues wanted to test whether it worked better with silk.
 
The researchers found that silk treated in chlorine compounds can fight off more spores than regular fabrics.

The podcast is also available in the society's Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions series and in a journal article titled "ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces."

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