The Loh Down On Science

New Sheriff in Town

Got a filthy mouth? 'Course you do!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying everyone’s mouth is filthy ... with bacteria.

And the biggest, baddest bacterium of all? Streptococcus mutans ... A.K.A. ... the cavity maker. See, S. mutans eats sugar for breakfast (... and lunch ... and dinner ), then spits out lactic acid, which destroys tooth enamel.

But there's a new sheriff in town, and he don't like mutans.

Meet STAMP C16G2. STAMP stands for "specifically targeted antimicrobial peptide." It's a synthetic protein with eyes for S. mutans only.

How does it work? The C16 region binds to S. mutans, the antimicrobial G2 region kills it.
Together, they're the carrot and the stick!

"CG" was developed by UCLA microbiologist Wenyuan Shi, and made into a mouthwash with help from Colgate-Palmolive. Regular mouthwashes kill both good and bad bacteria. Not CG. In recent tests on 12 human subjects, CG kept mouths nearly S. mutans free for four days, after just one rinse!

They call it the "smart bomb" of dental hygiene. Yee-haw!!!



The Loh Down on Science, online, at lohdown.org. Produced by 89.3 KPCC and the California Institute of Technology, and made possible by TIAA-CREF.

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