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    Smartphones Carry Our Bacterial 'Fingerprint'

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers have added one more item to the list of phenomenal things mobile phones can do. They discovered they’re a pretty good way to track bacteria.

    Researchers have added one more item to the list of phenomenal things mobile phones can do. They discovered they’re a pretty good way to track bacteria.

    No special app is needed, all users have to do is keep touching their phones as usual.

    In the process of daily use, a microbial fingerprint of sorts is left on the devices.

    Among the 17 mobiles tested, the University of Oregon scientists identified over 7 thousand different kinds of bacteria.

    They also took samples from the dominant fingers of the users and compared them to the ones taken from their phones.

    That’s when the specificity of the unique samples taken started to emerge.

    Each individual was about an 82 percent match to their mobile.

    Said one of the team members, "This project was a proof-of-concept to see if our favorite and most closely held possessions microbially resemble us. 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.”

    In the future the method could be used to see if healthcare workers and hospital visitors have been exposed to pathogens.