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Self Cleaning Mouse 204

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hypochondriacs-rejoice dept.
mikesd81 writes "LEWIS Wire is reporting on a self-cleaning mouse that disables the survival of bacteria with an auto-disinfecting surface. From the article: 'According to a recent survey from the University of Arizona, the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Despite this, office workers rarely have time to clean their desktops frequently or thoroughly enough to be effective. As a result, the presence of microbes contributes to the spread of pneumonia, the flu, pink eye and strep throat, among other extremely contagious viruses.'"
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Self Cleaning Mouse

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  • If you don't clean the environment you occupy for 1/3rd of your day, then heck, you deserve to get sick.
    • by montyzooooma (853414) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:05AM (#16212753)
      If the average desk harbours 400% more bacteria than the average toilet seat wouldn't it have a helluva lot to do with the relative surface area of each.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mazarin5 (309432)
        That's besides the fact that most toilet seats tend to be fairly clean. Bacteria just don't do well on cold porcelain; they like warm, wet places with lots of food.
        • by E++99 (880734) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @10:24AM (#16214325) Homepage
          Bacteria just don't do well on cold porcelain; they like warm, wet places with lots of food.

          That must suck for Louisiana.
        • by AviLazar (741826)
          Also, after taking a shower, a person towels themselves off. Puts on underwear, and pants. The persons butt is not coming in contact with anything else during the day. So when it hits the toilet seat, it is clean.

          Now if they said toilet bowl, that would be much different.
          • by mobby_6kl (668092)
            What's that shower thing you talk about?

            I don't have any references handy, but I remember seeing somewhere (so it's a fact!) that the average toilet bowl isn't very dirty, for the reasons you mention, sterility of urine, and because it's cleaned regularly.
        • by drsquare (530038)
          That's besides the fact that most toilet seats tend to be fairly clean.


          That's if you're not counting all the piss and dried up semen.

          Bacteria just don't do well on cold porcelain


          Then it's a pity most toilet seats are made out of plastic or wood.
          • That's if you're not counting all the piss and dried up semen.

            You can't count the extreme cases - so I'm sure that the bathrooms along the NJ Turnpike weren't tested for this particular staistic.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by mazarin5 (309432)
            That's if you're not counting all the piss and dried up semen.

            If that's really a problem, then a little review [ivillage.com] might help.

            But to address your points seriously, urine is composed of plasma, uric acid, and other elements that your kidneys filter out. It doesn't smell good, but it's not ridden with bacteria. Semen won't produce a good bacterial culture either, and I'd like to think that most people try to avoid cumming all over their toilet seats anyways.

            Then it's a pity most toilet seats are made out of pl

    • by NSash (711724) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:14AM (#16212823) Journal
      I would call spending 1/3 of every day cleaning excessive, unless you are a janitor.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by osee (944334)
      "cleaning" does not kill germs. It pushes them around a bit.
      Disinfection does. Which I practically never do anywhere except for the kitchen sink, garbage can and the bathroom/toilet.

      Speaking of which, the average publich toilet gets a thorough (? :-)) scrubbing with nasty disinfectants several times a day.
      I would expect it to be cleaner than say my keyboard. I would not want to dip that in Domestos/Bref whatever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mustafap (452510)
        >Speaking of which, the average publich toilet gets a thorough (? :-)) scrubbing with nasty disinfectants several times a day.

        Blimey, where you do live?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rednip (186217) *

      f you don't clean the environment you occupy for 1/3rd of your day, then heck, you deserve to get sick.

      A third! you Slacker! However I agree fully. Personally I change my keyboard, both at home and at work about once a year, and I get rid of mice at nearly the same rate. I also wipe them (in particular the mouse), with a disinfectant spray once in a while. My desk chair (at home) is changed about every two years (I've also swapped out my chair at work with unused matches before). As anyone who know

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Si (9816)

        I've also swapped out my chair at work with unused matches before

        Aren't they kind of uncomfortable to sit on? Besides the obvious fire hazard..

        • by mikesd81 (518581)
          Yes this took me a minute to figure out that he meant unused chairs that resemble or look like the originial, I think.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by God'sDuck (837829)
      yeah...but i kinda figure if i wash my hands somewhat regularly, then the germies on my keyboard have become *my* germies over time...i don't expect to actually get sick when exposed to 400 or 4000 percent more of the germs i'm exposed to every day -- that my body's used to fighting -- when compared to a single exposure to someone with a novel strain of the flu.
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by d3m0nCr4t (869332) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:50AM (#16212641)
    We just figured out 90% of the mouse's dna, and already it's cleaning itself... very nice !
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MightyYar (622222)
      They need to splice the gene into the New York subway rats. I wouldn't mind seeing rats down there if they were better-groomed.
  • Oh no! "bacteria"! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:51AM (#16212645)
    What's this common dread of "bacteria"? You have to look at the big picture. 97% of bacterial species have not the slightest ability to harm us. A typical surface has millions of these critters. Most of them are your friends, as they help crowd out the really bad varieties.

    If you "disinfect" a surface, it's like clear-cutting a rain-forest. You've upset the balance, making a fresh new playground where the really baad and hardy weeds might take hold.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MindStalker (22827)
      Well new nano technology allows us to create surfaces that no bacteria can live on. So you don't have to worry about good OR bad bacteria, and its smart for surfaces that people often touch. Otherwise I agree.
      • by MightyYar (622222)
        I'd only add that it's not really necessary for your own personal mouse, but might be a good idea for a public terminal or kiosk (or public toilet?). I don't think that many folks are giving themselves pink-eye.
        • Studies have shown that a workplace phone shared by several people is a great way to share the common cold and similar diseases. Maybe someone needs to make a handset that cleans itself.
      • by sabernet (751826) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:45AM (#16213139) Homepage
        I'm no biologist, but isn't that just 'upping the ante'?

        By making a service no current bug can live on, won't it leave a whole new world for tha one bug that happens to mutate in such a way to be tolerant(considering about divisions bacteria make with the percentage of mutation which is only likelier to increase given adverse conditions that may cripple its DNA). A la current anti-bacterial super-bug problem?
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by tancque (925227)
          You're right. These mice will be the natural selection grounds for oxygen radical resistant bacterial strains, maybe even incoorperating them into their metabolic pathways to produce cheap ATP. Next you will find your printer clogged up with strange pulsating mounds of glee. From there the bug will spread in any electronic device where electric charge creates free radicals, bringing down civilisation as we know it.

          Has anyone checked these oxygen-radical producing mice for connections with muslim-radicals?
          • by inviolet (797804)
            "These mice will be the natural selection grounds for oxygen radical resistant bacterial strains, maybe even incoorperating them into their metabolic pathways to produce cheap ATP. Next you will find your printer clogged up with strange pulsating mounds of glee."

            Bacteria clogging up the printer? That's easy to solve -- just print out something toxic, like a full-nude picture of Bea Arthur. That ought to sterilize the entire paper pathway.

        • by sabernet (751826)
          Man, I must have been reeeeaaaallly tired to type up that last bit...I don't think I've had that many typos and ommited words in a looooong time....
        • This is probably true, but assuming bacteria did evolve to be able to survive on this surface, what are the chances that they would also be able to survive and reproduce inside the human body?

          The objective isn't necessarily making a surface that's totally impossible for bacteria to live on, it's to make a surface that's so different from the inside of the body, that the bacteria that could concievably live on said surface wouldn't be capable of harming you.

          Sorta like how there are bacteria evolved to live i
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        The problem with that is erosion. Surfaces that people often touch tend to erode slowly from people rubbing their extremities on them. While that erosion is negligible as far as the integrity of the whole thing is concerned, how about the nano surface? I think that after a while the nanostructures on the surface would get smoothed out, causing the surface to lose its antibecterial properties.

        Nonetheless it does sound like a good idea. For non-mouse environments.
    • by Daytona955i (448665) <flynnguy24@NOspAM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:59AM (#16213285)
      The problem is, when you mention bacteria to the average person, they think bad things because we've learned that bad bacteria can make us sick. That's why I hate most studies that proclaim the bacteria count is such and such.

      Unfortunately, these "studies" are usually trying to convince us to buy an anti-bacterial soap, or as in this case a self cleaning mouse so they play on people's fears and doubts to make them want to buy it, ie... it's just FUD.
    • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @09:07AM (#16213367)
      What's this common dread of "bacteria"? You have to look at the big picture. 97% of bacterial species have not the slightest ability to harm us.


      And of the other 3%, most of them we couldn't survive without and the primary way they can harm us is by dying. The human lifeform is symbiotic with a whole bunch of bacterial species, which do everything from cleaning your eyeballs to assisting with digestion. The biosphere relies on bacteria to maintain everything from soil conditions to oxygen levels in the atmosphere.

      Killing bacteria to stop infections is like chopping off people's hands to stop shootings - before they happen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rogerborg (306625)
      Enclosed in this post are real-size images of two bacteria. Can you tell which one is the harmful one?
      • Bacterium #1:
      • Bacterium #2:

      So... are you feeling lucky?

    • What's this common dread of "bacteria"? You have to look at the big picture. 97% of bacterial species have not the slightest ability to harm us. A typical surface has millions of these critters. Most of them are your friends, as they help crowd out the really bad varieties.

      Agreed, but it's the 3% (often from other people) that can get you sick. During flu season, people generally pick up the bug from hand contact. You touch something that someone else has touched, or you shake hands, your own hands end up
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ChildeRoland (949144)
        Except influenze is caused by a VIRUS, NOT a bacteria. How is this anti-bacterial mouse going to protect against the Flu?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      Isn't influenza spread by a virus, not bacteria?

      -Eric

  • So: (Score:5, Funny)

    by guybert (827110) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:51AM (#16212649)
    It licks it's own balls?
  • Special coating??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by advocate_one (662832) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:52AM (#16212655)
    so how long will that survive on the surface? It'll have to be tough to withstand ordinary wear and tear... the contact points where my fingers hold the mouse on my desktop are already worn smooth and the mouse has only been in use for 6 months... sounds like snake-oil to me especially the nano-particle crap...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Titanium dioxide and elemental silver are being used in bathroom caulk to stop fungal growth.

      It works very well there.

      "Nano particle" is marketer speak for "we grind this shit up really small before we spray it on".

      I have no idea the thickness of the coating, but at least while new, this should work for a while. Frankly, I'd rather save my antibacterial weaponry for things that matter, but having these at the nurses' station in hospitals might actually be a very good idea.
  • Good grief (Score:3, Funny)

    by Thisfox (994296) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:53AM (#16212661)
    Compulsive telephone sanitisers. I never caught a flu from MY mouse.... What are they worried about, computers catching a virus?
  • Re: Toilets (Score:5, Funny)

    by Andr T. (1006215) <andretaff&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:54AM (#16212677)
    the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat Clearly, people are doing something wrong with their desks or with their toilets.
  • Useless (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aadvancedGIR (959466)
    Yes, you touch your mouse often, but it is just a tiny fraction of what you touch so this mouse is just a waste of money. OK, not a big one for a change.

    On the other hand, using such surfaces in hospital for example on doorknobs or armrests may really be helpfull.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:57AM (#16212701) Journal
    It is no surprise the average desktop has too many viruses, what do you expect when the average desktop is running windows? But the Fine Article seems to have confused virus with bacteria. Just switch to Linux and everything will be hunky dory.
  • by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:57AM (#16212703) Homepage Journal
    So are people supposed to wipe their butt with this thing or what? (Just trying to correlate toilet seats, bacteria and an antiseptic mouse.)

    Dan East
  • Germs are good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unts (754160) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:59AM (#16212717) Homepage Journal
    They help keep the immune system strong. If there's nothing for it to fight off... well... it'll just get lazy. Stay dirty; exercise that immune system!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Aqua_boy17 (962670)
      IANACP (Clinical Pathologist), but I think there is a lot of truth in what you're saying. People (my sister is an example) who obsessively clean using super antibacterials are actually sicker on average than those who don't. And since you never kill all microbes with anything short of complete sterilization, overuse of antimicrobials usually just breeds stronger and nastier bugs. This is a serious issue in Japan, and it's becoming one in the US. I agree (to a point) that the more the immune system is ex
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @07:59AM (#16212719)
    Face it, you never catch them all. So some survive, that are more resilent against the agent. They breed. And bacteria do that FAST. The resistance gets inherited. And then again. You are actually causing some un-natural selection that way, until you end up with bacteria that are super aggressive and super resistant against your antibac.

    Why do you think the most violent, nasty and resistant bacteria stems are found in hospitals?
    • why would they be super aggressive? Other than selecting for fast breeding, which is selected for quite naturally in any case, I don't see how we would be making them any more prone to attacking humans or anything else. Resistant, sure. Aggressive, ??
  • Toilet Seats!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by splatacaster (653139)
    Toilet seats have very few bacteria as they are made of non-porous material. So trying to say they have 400 times the bacteria is not really that outrageous of an amount.
    • They did a myth busters on that. Toilet seats are actually pretty clean. It's like the "we can put a man in space but we can't..." comparison. I'd be more concerned if my desk were more dirty than licking an ass directly.
  • Makes (Score:3, Funny)

    by Konster (252488) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:07AM (#16212767)
    Wow...so many viruses on my desktop. Does Microsoft make that too?
  • Looks like I can no longer have lunch at my desk. I'll have to eat the restrooms for now on. I'll take the handicap stahl if no one minds.

    I didn't see anywhere in the article about prevent oil and dirt build up. That's my main problem. My oily and sweaty hands like to build up these nice dirt outlines that I scrap off with my fingernails every month or so. I guess I can start wearing rubber gloves when I touch the mouse.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SanderDJ (1004445)
      I didn't see anywhere in the article about prevent oil and dirt build up. That's my main problem.
      My problem as well! Just killed a Logitech mouse this weekend by trying to clean it. Now it's dead and still dirty.
  • by tygerstripes (832644) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:10AM (#16212795)
    400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat

    Okay, just to clear this up: the average toilet seat is, believe it or not, one of the most sterile and least bacteria-ridden places you will find anywhere in your household. It is usually a barren plastic surface with little purchase for bacteria or moisture, it is cleaned and disinfected more than most surfaces, and the only real chance it has of catching anything that bacteria feed on is if someone ends up smearing crap on it - I'm really hope that's not the norm. In addition, what is unfortunately likely to end up on the seat is urine, which is totally sterile and would kill rather than feed most bacteria. Anyone who ever cleans their house will have a pretty sterile seat, and there is not much chance that anything you do pick up on the back of your legs is going to be transferred directly to your face by your hand.

    Just about the opposite of all the points above can be said about your keyboard and mouse. It should come as absolutely no surprise that these things are riddled with bacteria...

    As is your skin. All of it. You are fucking covered in the little guys, and it's rarely a problem. If you're the sort of person who's likely to get sick from a mouse that hasn't been disinfected, your life is too sterile for you to survive easily in the wild. Self-cleaning mice and mobility-scooters for the morbidly obese - they amount to the same thing: people's poor lifestyles causing them to be unfit to survive normally. I understand why people need these things, but if they'd exercised moderation in all things from the start, they wouldn't be in this situation.

    • by Incadenza (560402)

      As is your skin. All of it. You are fucking covered in the little guys, and it's rarely a problem.

      And don't forget your intestines, plenty off the little buggers inside you too. In fact [too lazy to search for a link] you carry more cells around that are not part of your body than cells that are. Fortunately your own cells are a lot bigger.

    • by fbjon (692006)
      That's OK for your home PC, but public computers? Have you seen the average color of their keyboards?
    • but if they'd exercised moderation in all things from the start

      I don't know where you're from, but here in the USA, we don't do anything in moderation. It's against national policy or something.

      Seriously though, most of the problems that we face as a culture stem from the fact that we take everything too far. Think fast food, playground safety, automobile size, etc. If we just tried to balance things a little better, I don't think we would have so many problems. With a few notable exceptions, most thin

    • by fbjon (692006)
      it is cleaned and disinfected more than most surfaces
      What is this 'cleaning' you speak of?
    • Just about the opposite of all the points above can be said about your keyboard and mouse. It should come as absolutely no surprise that these things are riddled with bacteria...

      As is your skin. All of it. You are fucking covered in the little guys, and it's rarely a problem. If you're the sort of person who's likely to get sick from a mouse that hasn't been disinfected, your life is too sterile for you to survive easily in the wild. Self-cleaning mice and mobility-scooters for the morbidly obese - they amo

      • by jackbird (721605)
        If you make people afraid of the germs in their surroundings, you can sell them soap. Advertising for soap is one of the major sources of revenue for television networks (e.g. "soap operas").

        The older I get, the better Marxist theories of history ("follow the money") sound.

    • I pretty much agree with tygerstripes.

      I'd like to add that people need to think of their hands, stomach and environment as an "ecology." What you want to discourage is the "Lions, Tigers and Bears." Our skin has bacteria that has adapted over millions of years. Many things that are now perfectly fine on our skin and don't cause problems, were most likely at one time an infection. Afte battling for a long time, immune system and invader become either benign or dependent. Much like the bacteria in our stomach
    • In various studies of public washrooms, they have found that the toilet seats (other than those that somebody 'caught the edge of' while dropping a brown bomb) are usually the cleanest in terms of germs. Now the toilet paper dispensors, walls, etc tend to suffer from splashback in small amounts of fecal matter (yuck), and the really bad culprits tend to be... guess what... the antibacterial soap dispensors (since it's what you touch after you wipe but before you're disinfected), the paper towel dispensor wi
  • by Eradicator2k3 (670371) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:17AM (#16212841)
    That's nothing. I have a self-cleaning dog. A friend of mine watched my dog clean himself and said, "Man, I wish I could do that."

    I told him, "You better pet him first; he might bite."
  • Oh please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:18AM (#16212853)
    According to a recent survey from the University of Arizona, the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.

    There's even more bacteria INSIDE YOU! And no, they're not only "your" bacteria. They are in fact bacteria that you ate, breathed in and so on and so on. They live and breed inside you, and defecate inside you! They also *eat* from whatever is laying around (i.e. YOU).

    Shocking? Well it better not be, since they're not going away any time soon. I'm sick of gem-counting revelations and toilet seat comparisons.

    I'm proud to say I use a regular dirty mouse and keyboard and I'm still alive and healthy. If someone is concerned he might catch something bad from a computer mouse, he wouldn't be alive to buy this product anyway.
  • Seriously...what a stupid comparison.
    How about comparing the number of harmful bacteria on each?
    Plus, as others have pointed out, the toilet seat is very often a clean surface due to its being regularly cleaned.
  • bacteria or virus? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by emlyncorrin (818871) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:26AM (#16212921)
    that disables the survival of bacteria with an auto-disinfecting surface.
    contributes to the spread of pneumonia, the flu, pink eye and strep throat, among other extremely contagious viruses.
    What's the point of an antibacterial if the problem is viruses?
  • ...for anyone who pushes their mouse around with their tongue.

    I'm surprised, though, that the marketing idiots didn't come up with an ant-terrorism angle - after all, if your mouse kills little bad bug things it'll Keep You Safe(tm) during a biological attack!
    • by 6Yankee (597075)
      "ant-terrorism", that's a good one. :P Make a mouse that can kill ants, and I'll buy it.
  • TOP TIP! (Score:2, Funny)

    by mutube (981006)
    Wash your hands.

    Thankyou for your attention.
  • They should call it a self-disinfecting mouse or something like that. A self-cleaning mouse would be one that saves you the chore of cleaning all the gunk deposited by the ball on the tension roller and optical interrupter shafts.
  • I want self-cloning mice [clampettstudio.com]!
  • by quigonn (80360) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:45AM (#16213131) Homepage
    Seriously: if the current contamination really were a problem, we would all be dead. But we aren't, and why? Because the human body has a immune system. So I bet, such a self-cleaning mouse, or even completely sterile desks deployed everywhere wouldn't have any impact on the infection rates.

    Actually, desinfecting too much actually leads to other problems. Current studies suggest that too much hygiene may be a big factor in the recent increases of allergies. Also, fighting too aggressively against any kind of etiologic agents only produces more resistant etiologic agents. A prominent example is the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a Staph.A. strain that developed antibiotic resistance and is responsible for a good share of all nosocomial infections (i.e. infections you get that you get in hospital but are otherwise unrelated to your actual treatment there).

    IANAMD (I am not an MD), but I have an education as combat medic in the Austrian Army where infectiology is a huge subject during education.
  • by giafly (926567) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @08:52AM (#16213195)
    Why doesn't some manufacturer design a mouse and keyboard that you can clean in a dishwasher?

    (Also iPods, 'phones, tv remotes and all types of electronic goods in all types of washer. NB patent trolls, if this is original, I claim prior art by publishing here. PS eeuw [gardenweb.com])
  • My cat has been doing this for years.
  • Illiterate marketing (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheMohel (143568) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @09:05AM (#16213341) Homepage

    Interesting product, illiterate article.

    Fomites (inanimate objects that can spread disease by holding infective organisms between hosts) can spread organisms, but office equipment, including mice and keyboards, has never been shown to contribute to the spread of serious disease. In a hospital environment, especially in something like an ICU where you have multiple providers working with the same computers, this might be an interesting thing to study. In the office, there's no point. You're at far more danger from shaking hands with your co-workers than you are from using their mouse. Tellingly, neither the author of the study nor the manufacturer quote any actual scientific study showing that an antibacterial mouse makes a difference anywhere. This is a talisman, pure and simple.

    Which doesn't stop the writer of the article, who breathlessly refers to "the spread of pneumonia, the flu, pink eye and strep throat, among other extremely contagious viruses." As a physician who is continually explaining the difference between viruses and bacteria, and the difference between diseases caused by transmission of specific organisms (like strep) and general conditions that have hundreds of causes (like pink eye or pneumonia), this sentence made me twitch violently. Suffice it to say that with this single phrase, the author ensured that I would ignore the rest of the article as an obvious waste of time.

    Fortunately, the manufacturer of the mouse did better. I love the disclaimer:

    Disclaimer:

    This device cannot be used as antibiotic or anti-viral medication. Do not ingest the surface material of the device under any circumstances. If you have symptoms of bacteria or viral infection please consult with your physician and seek medical attention immediately. This device does not eliminate the entire universe of bacteria or viruses. It is not a replacement for cleanliness and good personal hygiene. Please keep your hands and work area clean for optimal protection.

    And there you have it. Remember, don't ingest the damn thing under ANY circumtances.

  • The process isn't that hard, they have been doing stuff like this for years. They inject Anti-bacterial disinfectants into the plastics before they mold them.

    They have similar mats in showers, boats, dairy farms http://www.animat.ca/ [animat.ca].

    I'm suprised they haven't done this before. Inter-office disease spreading via keyboards and such is a HUGE problem, costing billions per year.

    Think about it? How many times have you been nailed by a cold going "around" the office?
  • Isn't this just creating evolutionary pressure in favour of disinfectant-resistant bacteria?
  • for mouse-cleaners to join telephone sanitizers and hairdressers on the Golgafrinchem "B" Ark? [wikipedia.org]
  • by pizpot (622748)
    I find the best way to clean a keyboard is dump a cup of coffee on it. The replacement is generally spotless! (remind me not to try to disasemble another keyboard--obviously made by aliens)
  • Copper? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrP-(at work) (839979) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @09:48AM (#16213863)
    Wouldn't it be easier to just make a copper mouse? Copper kills germs.

    Plus after time your mouse will go from copper color to green, so you'll get 2 styles for the price of 1
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Bob-taro (996889)
      Wouldn't it be easier to just make a copper mouse? Copper kills germs.
      And to think they called me crazy for using pennies as breath mints!
  • by steveo777 (183629) on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @10:10AM (#16214139) Homepage Journal
    I say we build an arc [wikipedia.org] to carry away these people working on such useless projects. We could probably get rid of a good third of the world if we were to just send off all the hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, management consultants, telephone (and mouse) sanitizers. Then we could finally live in peace...
  • Having tried TiO2 surfaces and silver particle wear I can say they are quite nice. Especially the TiO2 in ceramic. It feels nice and clean. The silver stuff is, meh. Both technologies are big in Japan now, and TiO2 seems most versatile being both human friendly and nice for building exteriors but the silver stuff is a bit oversold.

    I believe the British military first designed silver particle embedded antibacterial clothing, and I don't want to wear anything that has really nanosized particles of anything in
    • by illumin8 (148082)

      Okay so what do we really need? We need TiO2 building coverings and in bathrooms and desks because it feels great and works.

      Why do we need any of these things? I know they say no bacteria can survive on these surfaces, but how do we know that for sure? Once the bacteria has a mutation that allows survival on this surface it will be everywhere, and it will probably be a superbug. Our normal wood, metal, and glass desk surfaces have worked fine for hundreds of years. Why should we change them just so that


  • Bacterial presence is only one aspect of cleanliness.

    If this mouse were truly self-cleaning, it would have some way of automatically scraping of the schmutz that collects on the underside and where the fingers rest.

    (In this respect, the optical mouse is the greatest advance in mouse technology ever. I really don't miss jabbing a pencil eraser into the empty socket of my ball mouse, trying to coax strips of black gunk off the rollers every couple of months.)

  • I always been taught rats were the rodents that spread diseases. That only shows how much we've progressed since the dark Middle Ages...
  • I call BS on that sentence: "As a result, the presence of microbes contributes to the spread of pneumonia, the flu, pink eye and strep throat, among other extremely contagious viruses." Funny that no evidence is cited. Skin contains natural antimicrobial agents and skin is not a particularly friendly place for bacteria. Dry surfaces are even less friendly.

    Touching the dry, smooth surface of a mouse that someone else has touched has got to be less dangerous than shaking hands with them.

    All this "Lysol kills
  • not cleaner. Especially when kids are around. Will they get sick? Yep. They will also build resistence. Standard cleaning should be enough

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