Your smartphone carries your personal bacteria - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Your smartphone carries your personal bacteria

© iStockphoto.com / Maartje Van Casper © iStockphoto.com / Maartje Van Casper
  • Health Connections - Featured Health SpecialistsHealth PartnersMore>>

  • Scott Pharmacy

    Scott Pharmacy


    Scott Pharmacy, Inc. is a privately owned and operated business that has served the residents of Fayette County for more than 30 years. We are loyal to our patients.
    More >>

    Scott Pharmacy, Inc. is a privately owned and operated business that has served the residents of Fayette County for more than 30 years. We are loyal to our patients and will ensure that your order is filled quickly and correctly.
    More >>
  • Cedar Valley Medical Specialists

    Cedar Valley Medical Specialists


    Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, P.C. represents more than 60 providers in 20+ medical fields. By working together, the professional providers of Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, P.C. have focused our delivery
    More >>
    Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, P.C. represents more than 60 providers in 20+ medical fields. By working together, the professional providers of Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, P.C. have focused our delivery of quality healthcare on you and your family.More >>

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Your smartphone is personalized in a surprising way: It carries the same types of bacteria you have on your body, which suggests the devices could be used as bacterial and health sensors, a new study says.

Trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, live on and in your body, some of them harmful, but many of them beneficial.

Researchers assessed the microbiological connection between 17 people and their smartphones by analyzing bacteria on their hands and on the touch screens of their phones.

Eighty-two percent of the most common bacteria on the participants' fingers were also found on their smartphones. The link was stronger for women than for men, according to the study published online June 24 in the journal PeerJ.

"The sample size was small, but the findings, while intuitive, were revealing," lead author James Meadow, a postdoctoral researcher in the Biology and the Built Environment Center at the University of Oregon, said in a journal news release.

"This project was a proof-of-concept to see if our favorite and most closely held possessions microbially resemble us. We are ultimately interested in the possibility of using personal effects as a noninvasive way to monitor our health and our contact with the surrounding environment," he said.

For example, technology could be developed to screen the smartphones of health care workers and hospital visitors, rather than the people themselves, for possible exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses they may carry into or out of a health facility, the researchers said.

Microbiological analysis of smartphones might also reveal whether their users have been exposed to "biological threats or unusual sources of environmental microbes that don't necessarily end up integrated into our human microbiome," the researchers wrote.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about your microbes and you.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.