The arm’s length sock test is one sure sign your son is going through puberty. Sex hormones stimulate sweat glands and bacteria thrive in the extra secretions, producing the smell that makes you hold his socks at arm’s length as you put them in the wash. Even worse is the smell of used running shoes. But according to New Scientist 14 Oct 2000, p21 “the end is nigh for noxious Nikes and rancid Reeboks” in the form of a deodorising box that kills germs with nitric oxide. The deodoriser was developed by clinical pharmacologists at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London (England) who recognised that skin produces nitric oxide to keep germs at bay but cannot produce enough for feet encased in man-made socks and shoes needed in today’s thorn and thistle filled world.

Editorial Comment: This is another example in a long list of inventions inspired by studying a biological process, which originally would have enabled man to have no smelly feet in the good (and thornless) world God made. The thorny world caused when man sinned (Genesis 3:17-20) is one in which these relationship controllers are now out of balance. (Ref. skin, bacteria, invention)