Grossed out by germs in airplane bathrooms? Boeing hears you, said Mariella Moon at Engadget. The aeronautics giant has developed a prototype airplane lavatory that cleans itself after every use. When someone leaves the loo, the room is blasted with ultraviolet light, killing 99.9 percent of the germs inside. "It only takes three seconds to finish the whole process." To keep things as hygienic as possible, nearly all of the features are hands-free, with sensor-activated toilet covers, faucets, and trash receptacles.
A vacuum vent on the floor is also being developed to suck up spills and accidents. Killing germs doesn't just keep the bathroom "from smelling like a truck-stop urinal"; it can also help airlines save on maintenance costs. Self-cleaning loos won't make flying completely germ-free, however: Tests have shown the dirtiest part of an airplane cabin is actually the tray table.