Your Germ Cloud is as unique as your fingerprints


A team of researchers from the University of Oregon (United States of America) led by Dr. James Meadow has discovered that individuals can be identified from a group by sampling microbes in the air around them –this could be from their breath, skin, clothes and hair.

Referred to as ‘germ cloud’, it contains millions of bugs said to be as personal as fingerprints.  This cloud could be read by carrying out genetic analysis of the bacteria as the combination of microbes emitted differs from one individual to another.

The microbial clouds like fingerprints could be used for forensic investigations.  This research was carried out by testing 11 volunteers and identifying thousands of different types of bacteria in 312 samples taken from the compartment where they were asked to seat separately.

This study published by online journal, PeerJ, reveals the way humans emit bacteria into their environment and gives insight into how infectious diseases are spread.

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