A penny for your health?

Teen researchers study copper’s germ-killing prowess

By Sid Perkins, 16:59 PM May 30, 2013


Summer Monroe, 18, developed a copper-containing bandage that may help reduce infections in battlefield wounds. Credit: Patrick Thornton, SSP

Copper is best known as the reddish metal used to make pennies, electrical wiring and weather vanes. But two teen scientists think copper should find its way into medical settings as well. Their data suggest the metal — in bandages or on surfaces — could play a major role in killing some types of bacteria responsible for serious infections.


Bacteria are everywhere. Some are beneficial. They can help process foods (through fermentation, for example). Many in our gut even aid in digestion. But...

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