Researchers say they can identify unique telltale types of hand bacteria left behind on objects like keyboards and computer mice. Using powerful gene-sequencing techniques, the team swabbed bacterial DNA from individual keys on three personal computers and matched them up to bacteria on the fingertips of keyboard owners. This could be an important investigating tool that could help them whittle down suspects and even be used in court.
CSIs may one day be able to use more than DNA and fingerprints to catch criminals, as a new study finds that the bacteria that live on our hands are just as unique to each of us as our DNA. And traces of this "personal" DNA left behind on the surfaces we touch can be matched to the person who left it. The human body — inside and out — plays host to billions of bacteria and other microbes ; there are more bacteria in the human body than there are human body cells. Previous research by Noah Fierer of the University of Colorado at Boulder and his colleagues had found that a typical human hand carries about 150 bacterial species and that only about 13 percent of the bacterial species found on any one hand are shared between two people. "The obvious question then was whether we could identify objects that have been touched by particular individuals," Fierer said.
Busted by bugs. Unique bacteria on the skin might give criminals away. Credit: photos.com
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