Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bacterial Communities Identify Us!

Each person's skin bacteria appears to have its own genetic signature which could be used to identify an objects' user. This research and necessary technology development is in the preliminary stages.
This is an intriguing concept that I believe people will find interesting, so I would suggest that teachers could use it as a current event article.
clipped from
Bacterial "Signatures" Linger on Users' Keyboards

Call it CSI: Microbe. Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found that skin bacteria left behind on keyboards and computer mice can identify the objects’ users.

“We're cautiously optimistic that this technique could be widely applicable, but before anyone can stand up in a courtroom and defend it, we need to spend a lot more time and money on validation.”
Rob Knight

Knight is a coauthor of a report on the research, which was performed in collaboration with Noah Fierer, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, published the week of March 15, 2010, in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

recent research into the human microbiome –
suggests that humans serve as hosts for an astounding diversity of microorganisms. In fact, each of us supports as many as 10 times the number of microbes as there are cells in the human body.
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