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Why Soap is so Effective Combating Virus Transmission

Discussion in 'GatorNana's Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by ncargat1, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. ncargat1

    ncargat1 VIP Member

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    Maybe I am the only nerd in the world who wondered why soap works so well and how it actually does work. So, I stumbled across a Science Podcast with an interview of a chemist at New South Wales University who studies this subject.

    Apparently, the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is very, very similar to the original SARS-CoV-1 (aka SARS) from 2003. They are coronaviruses which are made of up RNA strands, inside of a lipid envelope with proteins on the out side of the envelope.

    Soap, almost every and any kind (not anti-bacterial only) works by dissolving lipids and fats. For example great, or another example is the the natural oils on your skin...of all kinds. Fortunately for us, in the case of the SARS virus (and flu and many other viruses by the way), and theoretically (studies not fully complete) the novel coronavirus, the lipid envelope covering the RNA strands is easily dissolved by soap. So, the simple act of lathering up your hands, every bit including finger tips and nails, dissolves the lipid envelope of the virus. Without it, the proteins and RNA strands cannot hold their structure and are harmlessly rinsed away or float off when your skill cells die. Even if the RNA strands are not immediately rinsed, outside of a cell of a specific type, they have no ability to re-assemble and reform into an active virus particle.

    A very similar explanation for alcohol (hand sanitizer) and UV radiation (aka sunlight - mother nature's sanitizer) eventually works, although the reactions and how they get there are different..

    Obviously there is still much to be studied, but the professor had a great point in trying to put out the explanation of how something has mundane as washing your hands can be so effective:

    When people are "told what to do", they are much more likely to do it when they understand why they are doing it and how it benefits them. Thus, I try to share.....
     
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  2. CharlestonGator

    CharlestonGator Premium Member

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  3. demosthenes

    demosthenes Premium Member

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    So I can just eat soap? Miracle cure.
     
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  4. ncargat1

    ncargat1 VIP Member

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  5. g8rjd

    g8rjd GC Hall of Fame

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    When mom washed your mouth out with soap, she was helping you! o_O
     
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  6. GatorGuyDallas

    GatorGuyDallas VIP Member

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    Thanks for digging this kind of stuff up and sharing. It makes the board better. :emoji_thumbsup:
     
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  7. mutz87

    mutz87 #stayingtf@home VIP Member

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    My mother made me eat soap once for cursing. Might have had the opposite effect. :D
     
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  8. anstro76

    anstro76 GC Hall of Fame

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    Being young in the early '80s were tough, I had my mouth washed out with that early version of liquid soap... all for raising hell with my babysitter for turning off Star Wars.
     
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  9. saltygator

    saltygator VIP Member

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    I ate plenty when I was a kid, but I'm not taking any chances!
     
  10. saltygator

    saltygator VIP Member

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    the standard ivory bar soap and I knew each other well
     
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