Study Germy Fingers Leave Unique Trail Of Bugs Behind

03.17.10 | FL News Team

Watch where you leave your germs. Researchers say your grimy fingers leave a unique combination of bacteria all over everything you touch. The study out of the University of Colorado at Boulder involved simply swabbing computer keyboards of nine different people. The researchers figured out with between 70-and-90 percent accuracy who touched which keyboard based on the bugs they left behind. The bacteria were still flourishing after two full weeks out in the open. Study leader Noah Fierer said, quote, "We didn't know just how hardy these creatures were."

 The research team had previously discovered that a typical person carries about 150 different types of bacteria on their hands. Nearly all of them are harmless. Any two people chosen at random will share at most only about 13-percent of the same germs. The findings have huge implications for forensic scientists and law enforcement, since a suspect's unique trail of germs could be added to fingerprints and DNA evidence. The findings are reported in the journal, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."