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Hand Bacteria. Bacteria may one day help crime scene investigators catch criminals dirty-handed.

Hand Bacteria

Having found previously that everyone’s hands carry a unique bacterial population, researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder have now shown that the mix of microbes left on a computer keyboard can be used to tell if a particular person had used it. Their tests, reported online the week of March 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, raise the possibility that hand bacteria could potentially serve as a new type of fingerprint.

Noah Fierer and his colleagues wondered if bacteria could be used in forensic tests when fingerprints fail, such as when the prints are smudged or evidence consists of fabric or other soft surfaces that don’t lend themselves to fingerprinting. Forensic scientists could identify suspects from bacteria - Tele. Hand Bacteria Left On Surfaces Could be Forensic Tool. 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.

Hand Bacteria Left On Surfaces Could be Forensic Tool

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. CSI's Latest Clue—Bacteria. Criminals already have to be careful not to leave fingerprints or DNA that could incriminate them.

CSI's Latest Clue—Bacteria

But they might want to carry hand sanitizer, too, according to a new study that suggests a new way to finger perpetrators from their skin bacteria. The human body hosts hundreds of bacterial species that perform various salubrious housekeeping chores, from aiding digestion to helping the immune system identify foreign invaders. Articles by constance holden. Constance Holden portraits in oils.

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