Bleach is commonly used as a disinfectant -- but now, for the first time, researchers have explained just how bleach works to kill bacteria. Writing in the journal Cell, researchers describe the action of ordinary bleach on proteins in bacteria. First, the proteins unfold in a manner similar to proteins undergoing heat-realted stress, then clump together in a manner similar to that of the proteins in a cooking hard-boiled egg. We'll talk with one of the researchers on the project about the work, and how the new knowledge might be put to use. Might the disinfectant quality of bleach have a parallel in your immune system?
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer