Bacteria on Hands Can Reveal Your Identity

Bacteria on Hands Can Reveal Your Identity

A new and revelatory study, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has shown that one day a person's identity could be determined by studying the bacteria living on his/her hands. This could become an important forensic clue for tracking criminals.

Though the research is only theoretical, it is based on the fact that human beings harbor bacteria on their hands and when they touch any object they leave a trail of bacteria on them.

"There's a rain forest of bacteria on your skin", says Noah Fierer, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also proposes that a human hand contains up to 100 different species of bacteria.

Only 13% of the genetic makeup of these bacteria will be common among two individuals. Since each individual's hands have a unique bacterial make up, identifying criminals would be facile.

Moreover, bacterial trails can be found even on cloth where fingerprints are not available.

However, the concept is not without flaws. Similar genetic makeup of twins, change in the microbes once they transfer to an object and distinguishing between the microbes of two individuals, who have touched the same object, pose as problems.

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