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How to de-germ your smartphone (and protect your health)

How to de-germ your smartphone (and protect your health)

Curtin University molecular microbiologist Dr Joshua Ramsay shares with Jackson Stiles, Life Editor of Australia's online 'The New Daily' why smartphones may be dangerous to our health and provides a surprising remedy!

The surprising remedy?

'The key to keeping your phone clean may have nothing to do with the phone at all.

This is because our devices “quickly become repopulated” with microbes as soon as we start using them, Dr Ramsay said.

“If you want to keep things clean, it is probably more effective to wash your hands often.”'

I'd say that that is an excellent reason for us to inform our family, friends and colleagues that our personal items should not be used by others!

Dr Ramsay's advice to “Be conscious of what potentially contaminated surfaces you have touched or are going to touch before you go using your device” could equally apply to anything else you regularly use.


Photo: I guess we'll have to try hard not be be like this guy - bristly, when someone uses something of ours without first asking. Yesterday I nearly stepped on this echidna (spiny ant-eater, though they eat much more than ants), when walking under some eucalyptus trees. I've seen signs of them around, but they don't draw attention to themselves. They have a very good defence; this critter had already dug slightly into the soil before I came across him; all that was visible were those spines which were quickly puffed up when I touched them with a twig.

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I love the Echidna photo, Neil. It would be easy to think it was some sort of prickly vegetation, but I guess in Australia you come to expect all sorts of strange creatures. Good thing you didn't step on it...

Best wishes, Paula

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Thanks Paula,

In that particular photo I too thought it did look like a couple of enmeshed spiky growths. It struck me that it really was quite beautiful with the way the spines form interleaved patterns along with the shading on the spines, but I think both the echidna and I are quite relieved that I didn't step on it!

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