- 12:05 pm - Thu, Feb 28, 2013
- 232 notes
The hidden life on your phone – the bacteria that lurk on your mobile
The colonies of bacteria that are form after the phone has been imprinted are from, the body’s invisible bacterial flora, that now that the messages have been electronically received or delivered, still represent a tangible and biological residue of our manifold hellos and goodbyes.
Bacteria can utilise many different things as vectors in order to promote their transmission.
Insects, water, food, coughs and sneezes, sexual contact, and rain are just a few examples. The mobile phone appears to be no exception this rule.
“The ecological niche on the body for Staphylococcus aureus is the nostrils, so a furtive pick of the nose, and quick text after, and you end up with this pathogen on your smartphone
“You can clearly see the outline of the phone on this, but the whole plate is covered by the spreading growth of a bacterium called Bacillus mycoides. This pattern of growth is unique to this bacterium and because soil is its natural habitat, we know that this phone or its user had recently been in contact with soil. Each phone tells a story
From these results, it seems that the mobile phone doesn’t just remember telephone numbers, but also harbours a history of our personal and physical contacts such as other people, soil and other matter.”
[via @UniOfSurrey HT @ScienceAlert]