Smartphones carry most of body's bacteria

This probably won't come as a surprise, but the screens of our smartphones are covered with our personal bacteria. In fact, according to a study at the University of Oregon, more than 80 percent of bacteria unique to the phone's owner ends up on the screen.

And this may not be such a bad thing.  The researchers say this might be a useful way to track the spread of bacteria. People have trillions of different micro-organisms living in and on our bodies and scientists have found overlap between what’s naturally present on our bodies and those on the screens of smartphones.

For the study,the  researchers sequenced DNA of microbes found on the index fingers and thumbs of 17 people. They also swabbed the smartphones of those people. A total of 7,000 types of bacteria were found in 51 samples.

On average, 22 percent of the bacteria families overlapped from fingers to phone, and 82 percent of the most common bacteria found on the fingers were also found on the phones, including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and Corynebacterium.

The researchers said that one day phones might be used to study if people have been exposed to certain bacteria, specifically health care workers.

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Sourced from: BBC, Mobile phones carry owners’ bacterial ‘fingerprint’