Fighting dirty against germs

Microbiologists have come up with a dirty new weapon in the war on MRSA, according to reports in Scientific American and Science News. The flesh-eating germs might not succumb to antibiotics, but they get knocked out by clay:

For centuries the French have used such green clays, rich in iron, for healing wounds. And the clays have proved capable of treating these M. ulcerans outbreaks, for which the only other cure is surgical removal or amputation. But scientific proof was lacking, so Brunet de Courssou enlisted the aid of mineralogist Lynda Williams of Arizona State University (A.S.U.) in Tempe to take pictures of the microscopic structure of the clays and try to figure out the source of their healing powers.

They’re still not sure exactly *how* the clay works, but they think it’s a chemical (not, like, microscopic crystals poking the germs or something) that works with water to mess up the bacteria’s metabolism.