Agriculture
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Getting the dirt on carbon
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Toads
Newts
Animals
Little Beetle, Big Horns
Mouse Songs
The Littlest Lemurs
Behavior
A Light Delay
Wired for Math
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Birds
Pigeons
Carnivorous Birds
Vultures
Chemistry and Materials
Supergoo to the rescue
Nanomagnets Corral Oil
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
Computers
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Programming with Alice
The Book of Life
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
Mammals in the Shadow of Dinosaurs
Battling Mastodons
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Life under Ice
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Environment
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Plant Gas
Saving Wetlands
Finding the Past
Sahara Cemetery
A Long Trek to Asia
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Fish
Hagfish
Angler Fish
Flounder
Food and Nutrition
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
How Super Are Superfruits?
The Color of Health
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Pronouns
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Math of the World
Human Body
Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Invertebrates
Butterflies
Wasps
Lobsters
Mammals
Miscellaneous Mammals
Capybaras
African Wildedbeest
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
One ring around them all
Project Music
Plants
Springing forward
Getting the dirt on carbon
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Reptiles
Crocodiles
Snakes
Asp
Space and Astronomy
A Planet from the Early Universe
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
Pluto's New Moons
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Shape Shifting
Searching for Alien Life
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Robots on a Rocky Road
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
Either Martians or Mars has gas
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Add your Article

A Clean Getaway

Criminal investigations begin with a search for clues. Teams of investigators arrive at a crime scene armed with special fact-finding gear. They look for standard evidence like fingerprints, footprints or blood at the scene of a crime.

But scientists recently discovered something troubling. Some new household cleansers can remove all traces of blood. If criminals simply use these products to clean up after themselves, police may have a hard time gathering evidence.

To get at particularly stubborn stains, like an accident from your pet, your parents may use one of these new products called “oxy” cleaners. These cleansers use oxygen and water to attack stains, including blood. Some of the ads claim to clean “over 101 stains on multiple surfaces.” That sounds good, but scientists have identified a downside to that much cleaning power.

The oxy cleaners even go beyond getting rid of visible stains. Usually detectives’ gear can find traces of blood that are invisible to the naked eye. But these oxy cleaners make even the invisible traces of blood unrecognizable to the most common blood-detecting tests.

The three standard tests for picking up blood rely on a protein in the blood called hemoglobin. This protein loves oxygen. In the body, it’s hemoglobin’s job to grab onto oxygen and carry it from the lungs to the rest of the body. But the new oxy cleaners flood a blood stain with a lot of oxygen. Once the protein gets its fill of oxygen, it won’t even bother to snatch oxygen from the investigators’ blood detecting tests. This means these tests will come up negative.

When you scrape your knee, a nurse, parent, or coach may rub it with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide contains hydrogen and oxygen and helps stop the bleeding. The chemical causes oxygen that looks like foam to rise to the surface of your cut. There, too, hemoglobin in your blood seeks the oxygen in the hydrogen peroxide.

Common blood detectors rely on the same kind of reaction between blood’s oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The detectors contain hydrogen peroxide that reacts with hemoglobin in a blood stain. When hemoglobin grabs some oxygen, the blood detecting test gives a positive result. Depending on the chemical in the test, a positive result might glow or turn pink.

In the name of science, a group of researchers decided to test the oxy cleaners. The scientists made their own fake crime scene by using samples of their own blood to stain a couple pieces of cloth. The team put five drops of their own blood on a soft cotton cloth, some jeans and a towel.

Then, the researchers washed part of each cloth sample in “Neutrex,” an oxy cleanser. The team thought the oxygen in Neutrex would be released upon contact with water. The large amount of oxygen would cause the hemoglobin to work overtime. This would effectively clean up the blood, but also tire out the hemoglobin so that it wouldn’t react with the tests. The scientists also washed other samples of blood-stained cloths with a traditional cleaner. All the samples were then left to air dry.

The cleaners worked as the scientists suspected. The cloths washed without oxy cleaners looked clean, but the three tests still picked up the blood traces. But after an oxy wash, the other sample fabrics looked spotless to the naked eye, and also came up clean on the blood tests. The difference: The oxygen bath given to hemoglobin exposed to the oxy cleaners. After spending time in the presence of that much oxygen and trying to snatch it, the hemoglobin couldn’t react with the investigators’ tests.

Despite the study’s results, this cleaning possibility doesn’t mean that bloody crime scenes are a thing of the past. “People committing violent crimes often don’t have time to clean up; they leave a lot of stuff behind,” says Walter Rowe, a forensic scientist, someone who examines evidence in a legal case, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

A Clean Getaway
A clean getaway








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™