Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.


PacSci-Doku: “Antibacterial Guru”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab below.

The question in this edition is:

What common bathroom product is named after a famous 19th century doctor?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

I  i  E  e  N  L  R  T  S

PacSci-Doku: Antibacterial Guru The Puzzle

Puzzle Difficulty: Easy

The Answer

PacSci-Doku: Antibacterial Guru The AnswerThe question in this edition is:

What common bathroom product is named after a famous 19th century doctor?

The answer: Listerine

Listerine is named after the 19th century British doctor Joseph Lister (1827 – 1912). He grew up during a time when surgery involved no anesthetic and surgeons would move from one patient to another without cleaning their hands or surgical instruments. People did not have the modern understanding of bacteria causing infections, and people were more likely to die of the surgical incisions becoming infected than the original condition that required the surgery.

An advocate of Louis Pasteur’s germ theory as the cause for many diseases, he followed strict experimental procedures to show that sterilizing wounds and surgical instruments with carbolic acid would prevent the deadly post-operative infections. In 1879, Listerine was created as a surgical antiseptic, and only later reformulated as a mouthwash. Read more about Joseph Lister and his contribution to modern surgical techniques.

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