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You’re constantly enveloped in your own microbial ‘fingerprint’

| | September 23, 2015
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Hygiene obsessives – your worst fears have been confirmed. Everyone walks around enveloped in an airborne cloud of bacteria, a bit like the Peanuts character Pig-Pen, and some of the bugs come from our most intimate nooks and crannies.

Our bodies are home to an estimated 100 trillion bacteria, viruses and fungi. People leave traces of their microbial communities on surfaces like their phones, and Meadow’s team wondered if the air around us also carries such signatures.

It’s possible that these clouds may transmit disease. MRSA has been found living on the skin and noses of otherwise healthy people, so it could be in their clouds too. Meadow suspects that respiratory viruses such as measles probably are too.

The results could have a forensic use, helping to place a suspect at a crime scene through their bacterial signature. “I don’t think it’s crazy to think that in the future we could be recognizing people by their bacterial mist,” says Tim Spector of King’s College London.

Read full, original post: Humans walk around in our own personal clouds of airborne bugs

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