Do You Know Where Your Keyboard Has Been?

Not too long ago I wrote about a breakthrough that scientists have had in killing a methicilin-resistant strain of the Staph bacteria with UV light.  In a gross bit of news, I learned about this little fella below:


Do you know what that nasty looking bug is above?  It’s a bacteria in the Coliform family.  Do you know where Coliform bacteria is found?  It’s most commonly found in feces.  You know, feces?  Poop?  Well, I have some news…  apparently it’s also been found on some computer keyboards in public areas, like hospitals, common areas, computer labs, and other keyboard-sharing places.  That’s almost as nasty as the bacteria count on lemon slices found in restaurants that are used in your drinks – and that bowl of lemons that’s always located by the soda fountain in places like Chipotle.  Next time you use a keyboard in a public place, will that be on your mind?

It’s been on the mind of a company called Vioguard – they’ve produced a product that combats the spread of such little nasties like the one above in hospitals – a place where having dirty hands because of a filthy keyboard could lead to a person’s death.  With an estimated 500-1000 keyboards in public areas in a large hospital, you can imagine the possibility of infection – someone uses the restroom, “forgets” to wash their hands, goes back to their computer station, maybe picks something out of their teeth…

…and the nasty story goes on.


Vioguard’s product is a keyboard that retracts into an enclosure that bathes the keyboard in Class C UV light – a well-known germicidal “agent.”  The keyboard gets sanitized, and when you need it, you wave a hand in front of an IR sensor which pops it out – limiting the amount of times you have to physically touch it.  This is a great thing for hospitals, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, medical folk in general who have to touch people.  Check out the video below:

The pricepoint that was initially quoted was between $499 and $599, but the creator, an ex-Microsoft hardware engineering director, says that the price should come down over time.  I bet I know some people who could benefit from having one of these in their home…


Thanks, TechFlash and Vioguard!

Blue Light Kills the MSRA Staph Bacteria

There’s an article about to be published in a medical journal about the Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MSRA) germ – apparently blue light is the bacteria’s kryptonite.  Scientists and researchers have found that ultraviolet light permanently damages the bacteria about 90% of the time – enough to make a breakthrough.

From the article:

In a study that will appear in the April 2009 issue of the journal Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, researchers from the New York Institute of Technology, in Westbury, NY, detail how shining blue light on cultures containing MRSA damages them permanently and causes up to a 90.3 percent reduction of the infections. The light has to be in the 470-nanometer wavelength, and tests concluded that the higher the dosage, the more bacteria are killed.

In addition to working so efficiently, the therapy does not involve additional medication, and, furthermore, it doesn’t harm the patients by subjecting them to UV radiation, like other techniques do. High-dose photo-irradiation was proven to almost completely annihilate two of the most potent strands of the Staph, namely the US-300 strain of CA-MRSA and the IS-853 strain of HA-MRSA, which are very widespread in the United States and represent the most commonly-acquired infections in the community, and the hospital, respectively.

Go, ultraviolet light!


Thanks, Softpedia News!