Phones hold bacterial ‘fingerprint’


A recent study advises that over 80 percent of the general bacteria that make up our bacterial “finger prints” can be found on our mobile phones.

During the study conducted by biologists from the Oregon University, DNA of microbes found on the index fingers and thumbs of 17 people was sequenced, swabs were also taken from the subjects’ mobile phones.

A total of 7,000 different types of bacteria were found in 52 samples, revealing an overlap between the collection of micro-organisms commonly present on people’s bodies and those on mobile phone displays.

The most common bacteria present on participants’ fingers and on their phones included three families that are usually found on the skin or in the mouth – Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and Corynebacterium.

The study’s lead researcher Dr. James Meadow said that although the sample size was small, the results were “revealing.”

“This project was a proof-of-concept to see if our favorite and most closely held possessions microbially resemble us,” he said.

“We are ultimately interested in the possibility of using personal effects as a non-invasive way to monitor our health and our contact with the surrounding environment.”

Both men and woman had common bacteria with their phones but the link was stronger between women.

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