Smartphones Carry Invisible Bacteria, Students Discover

by Reads (153)

Smartphones can do a lot of things. They can track locations, send and receive messages, update fantasy hockey rosters and tell users the name of a song playing in the dentist office. Apparently, according to classwork done by students at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, they also retain a biological history of a user’s actions.

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Students studying biology at the University imprinted their mobile phones on to Petri dishes to take a closer look at what is actually growing on the devices many users are attached to throughout their day-to-day activities.

What they found is pretty gross.

It turns out that every time a user picks up their smartphone, sends a text or places it against their cheek to make a phone call, the body transfers invisible bacterial flora to the device. The students discovered that most of the bacteria are harmless, but some of the students found the disease-carrying bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, a commons cause of infections such as food poisoning, on their phones.

The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus typically hides in a person’s nostril, so it’s not too surprising that it could end up on a user’s phone. A quick sneeze or pick of the nose followed by a Facebook update is all it takes to transfer the bacteria.

The students checked on the Petri dishes over the course of three days and watched the spreading growth of the invisible bacteria, which eventually covered the entire plate.

Source: Daily Mail

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