Study finds humans are surrounded by a personalized microbial cloud

The Washington Post reports a small study published in the journal PeerJ has found that humans are “surrounded by a cloud of bacteria” that “might actually be as identifiable as a fingerprint.” Researchers looked at the microbial “clouds” of 11 subject participants and found a “bacterial signature” surrounding each participant.

The Post says the research adds “to a growing body of evidence that our multitudes of microbes are singular enough to serve as forensic evidence” and some researchers suggest the “exchange of bacteria between victim and perpetrator could be used as evidence in sexual assault case.”

HealthDay reports the researchers were able to determine “that air samples could even pinpoint which individual had just left a sealed chamber, based on the makeup of their particular cloud of bacteria.”

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