U-M researchers learn how bleach kills bacteria

Author(s): J. Winter, M. Ilbert, P.C.F. Graf, D. Ă–zcelik, U. Jakob

Professor Ursula Jakob


Associate Professor Ursula Jakob and her lab group have recently discovered how bleach kills bacteria! While chlorine bleach is popular disinfectant, scientists never have understood exactly how the product kills bacteria.

In a study published in the November 14th issue of the journal Cell, molecular biologist Ursula Jakob describes a mechanism by which hypochlorite, the active ingredient of household bleach, attacks essential bacterial proteins, working its antimicrobial magic and ultimately killing the bugs. Associate Professor Jakob's findings are not only important for understanding how bleach keeps our kitchen countertops sanitary, but they may lead to insights into how we fight off bacterial infections.

Read the UM News Services article, Reuters article, and Yahoo! article.

Publication Information:

Name of Periodical: Cell

Volume Number: 135

Issue Number: 4

Year of Publication: 2008