Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Messy Bedroom Could Spell End For Creepy Crawlies

17.01.2005


While children across the country are still trying to stick to their New Year’s resolutions to tidy their bedrooms every morning, building scientists are investigating whether a clutter could actually be the key to healthier living. Dr Stephen Pretlove, from Kingston University’s School of Architecture, is one of a group of specialists advising Britons to leave their beds unmade to banish house dust mites which cause asthma and other allergies. The scientists have discovered the mites cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed.



The average bed could be home to up to 1.5 million house dust mites, Dr Pretlove said. They were less than a millimetre long and could not be seen by the naked eye. “House dust mites feed on scales of human skin so they love to share our beds. The allergens they produce are easily inhaled during sleep and are a major cause of illnesses such as asthma,” he explained. The scientists have developed a computer model to track how changes in the home can reduce numbers of dust mites in beds. “We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body,” Dr Pretlove said. “Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”

In the next stage of their research, the scientists are putting mite pockets into beds in 36 houses around the United Kingdom to test their computer model and will investigate how people’s daily routines affect mite populations. Building features such as heating, ventilation and insulation will also be altered to monitor how the mites cope. “Our findings could help building designers create healthy homes and healthcare workers point out environments most at risk from mites,” Dr Pretlove said. The research also had the potential to reduce the £700 million spent on treating mite-induced illnesses, he added.


The two-year project has attracted more than £200,000 funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Dr Pretlove is working alongside built environment experts from University College London and the University of Cambridge. Zoologists from Insect Research and Development Ltd and the Royal Agricultural College are also part of the project team.

Phil Smith | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kingston.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
16.01.2018 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
12.01.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations

16.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials

16.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>