dettol multi cleaner ad

  ronalddonald 12:58 11 Jun 2010

This ad claims that some bacteria can survive in molten lava. Is this fact true or is a sales gimmick.

  MAT ALAN 13:18 11 Jun 2010

The highest recorded temperature for extreme thermophiles, growing at the very edge of undersea vents is about 400oC. The commonly cited lowest temperature for lava is 700oC. Given a fudge factor on both of these, it is conceivable that there could be an overlap. I doubt if such an event would occur: the underseas vents last for a long time and bacteria have had ample opportunity to adapt/evolve. Molten lava is very short lived, so there would be no time or reason for the bacteria to use it as a habitat.

So, to claim that 'bacteria can live in lava', may be better described as 'could possibly survive',

  Woolwell 13:26 11 Jun 2010
  BT 17:53 11 Jun 2010

The ad or a similar Dettol ad says that it kills 99% of bacteria etc. Its the 1% that it doesn't get that's a bit worrying!

  Diemmess 18:34 11 Jun 2010

Antiseptics are by nature anti-life and at best will damage a some vulnerable tissues on contact.

The detergent component in a proprietory antiseptic is probably their most important constituent.

Whatever is used, the aim is to clean the wound rather than sterilise it.

Asepsis is the principle aim and the reason for such care using disposable "everything" to avoid making matters worse.

Antibiotics shoudl be chosen specifically for the particular problem, because many of them will upset the natural balance, like killing the foxes and having a plague of rabbits.

Well, Dettol smells nice, but I don't have any in my cupboard.

  bjh 19:04 11 Jun 2010

This is the ad that says "hundreds" of bacteria might be on your soap dispenser button? I think it is, no? It's nasty scare-mongering of the first order. Only hundreds? That's probably fewer than are on the bit of skin you press it down with. Oh, and you must be JUST ABOUT TO WASH YOUR BLEEDING HANDS ANYWAY!!! (.... sorry, just ads like this get on my wick and I get a teeny weeny bit cranky). The average clean paper towel in a hospital dispenser has over 25,000 bacteria on it!

{Vanish Oxy-Action actually ran one recently that "even removes the stains you can't see" ... WHAT THE ... a stain that you can't see... ... ok, deep breath, deep breath... }

Then there was the one that told us your computer desk/keyboard could have more bacteria on it than your loo seat - that was a Dettol one I think. Domestos used the line "Kills 99% of all known germs" and other variants of that phrase (see BT's comment above). Any bleach will do the same. Soap & water will nearly do as well.

Plenty of 'bacteria' live in volcanic flumes underwater, and fascinating things they are too. But, you won't get ill if you swallow a teaspoon or two of them (so long as you cool the teaspoon down a little first). They do live in the water rather than within the larva, but there is a strong possibility that their original source was from the molten rock. They're more accurately termed 'archaea', and they are one of the most fascinating branches of life. They metabolise hydrogen and sulphur. The extreme pressures found underwater may aid their survival at high temperatures.

There are about 100 trillion cells making up your body, and there are about 1000 trillion (so 10X as many) symbiotic cells co-hosting with you, the majority of which are bacteria ("friendly bacteria... " aaargh, Yoghurty goodness comes to the fore, more devious adverts...). There are probably over 10,000 different forms of bacteria in you at this very moment.

Bacteria are not bad, they are just misunderstood. Make friends with one today! Just one, mind you, or you might need Listerine mouthwash with its 24 hour protection against bacteria.... (that'd be those essential little things that are keeping you alive then....)

I'm off to lie down in a quiet dark room, and ignore (the ads and the football)

  bjh 19:07 11 Jun 2010

Oh, and I was rather carried away and didn't answer the question....
No, they live in the water around it, not in the larva.
Strictly, they aren't bacteria anyway.

It's sales bilge.

  wiz-king 20:43 11 Jun 2010

I had some fun at work earlier on this year. while I was doing the weekly settle plate checks on our production areas I put out some extra plates in the accounts department and in the kitchen. After a 4 day incubation I sealed the plates, put nice labels on saying what I had identified and left them out for the staff to see.
Cleanliness has improved somewhat!

  PalaeoBill 23:13 11 Jun 2010

I'm a palaeobiologist, qualified and everything; with degrees and stuff!, and no! just no.

  Forum Editor 00:17 12 Jun 2010

and other life forms live in and around underwater hydrothermal vents, where temperatures can exceed 300 degrees centigrade. As far as I know however, there's no evidence to show that bacteria live in volcanic lava in its molten form. Flowing lava can reach 1250 degrees centigrade, and that's just too hot for any bacterium as far as we know.

Traces of bacteria have been discovered in ancient hardened lava, but they would have entered the lava after it had cooled.

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