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  • - Can we talk about cooties for a second?

  • Germs apparently are everywhere and they're invisible.

  • Let's be honest, if they're big enough

  • where you can see them, they're extra disgusting.

  • I'm talking to you, gas station bathrooms.

  • Well now, one of the smartest things

  • that is often covered with cooties can light up

  • and get a nice little bath in the process.

  • Here's Adam Yamaguchi to explain.

  • - We're instinctively aware where germs thrive.

  • Kitchen counters, airplanes, doctor's offices.

  • What about your smartphone?

  • - When people learn that phones are really, you know,

  • 18 times dirtier than a public restroom.

  • It's really shocking to people 'cause they interact

  • with phones so often, and it's just a matter

  • of like stopping and thinking about their habits.

  • Do they realize that, yeah, I can see why my phone

  • is this disgusting.

  • - This life sciences college major

  • was so disturbed by how filthy his own phone was,

  • he set out to invent a device to clean it,

  • leaning on the magical properties of ultraviolet light

  • to do the work.

  • - UV lights have been used for, you know,

  • decades in hospitals and laboratories

  • to disinfect surfaces.

  • Think of it as like a tanning bed for your phone.

  • It opens up, you place your phone inside

  • and when you close it back up,

  • the ultraviolet lights turn on and kills all the bacteria

  • in just a matter of minutes.

  • - I headed to Provo, Utah, to meet

  • Wesley Laporte and learn more about scrubbing germy gadgets

  • with his innovation, called Phonesoap.

  • - Most of the development work happens

  • on the shape of the inside.

  • We place light sources in different areas

  • and test the concavity of the shell to make sure

  • that light's bouncing around all in there,

  • and then we build in the reflectivity into the device.

  • And this right here is actually a piece of quartz

  • because the wavelength of UV light that kills germs

  • actually doesn't pass through plastic or glass even,

  • it only passes through quartz.

  • It allows us to reflect light all around the phone.

  • - When UV light penetrates the bacteria's

  • cell wall, it kills its DNA,

  • preventing it from reproducing and reducing the chances

  • of you getting infected.

  • Wesley took me to his alma mater, BYU,

  • to lab test my phone using Phonesoap.

  • - We're gonna swab your phone before using Phonesoap,

  • and we're gonna put that swab onto this plate,

  • and it's gonna help grow the bacteria.

  • Then after we've swabbed it,

  • we're gonna put it in the Phonesoap for 10 minutes,

  • and we're gonna take it out and do the same thing again,

  • and we'll compare how many germs are there before

  • versus how many germs are there after.

  • - Wesley swabbed my phone and labeled the before

  • petri dish B.

  • Then after we cleaned my phone for 10 minutes in Phonesoap,

  • he swabbed it and then labeled the after dish A.

  • - Now we're gonna put these plates,

  • the before and the after, in this incubator,

  • and we're gonna leave it for 24 hours,

  • and we're gonna come back and see what grew or didn't grow.

  • - I'm afraid to know.

  • - Here's your phone back in the meantime.

  • - (laughs) Thank you.

  • After waiting 24 hours,

  • I came back to the lab to learn

  • the results.

  • - Moment of truth.

  • Okay, this is the before petri dish.

  • This is what you phone like was before Phonesoap.

  • Oh, my goodness.

  • - Oh, it smells, too.

  • - Yeah, the stuff growing on our phone is--

  • - Wow.

  • - is wild.

  • And this is the after petri dish.

  • - Wow.

  • - Yeah, nothing grew.

  • - Hmm.

  • - Much different.

  • - Well, I go home with a very clean phone.

  • - Yes.

  • - I think you've invented the new form

  • of like, shaming.

- Can we talk about cooties for a second?

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B2 US uv light petri wesley dish bacteria quartz

UV Light that Disinfects your Smartphone | The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

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