A new study’s finding is definitely going to alarm hypochondriacs everywhere. A team of researchers found that all people produce a microbial cloud comprised of all sorts of bacteria.
The study published its findings on September 22 in the journal PeerJ.
The exciting new study found that by anaylizing air samples we can even find out who, of 11 people, was the person that just left the room. All this based on the composition of the specific cloud of bacteria that we are emitting.
Lead author of the study, James Meadow, professor at the University of Oregon declared to PeerJ that he and his co-workers “expected that we would be able to detect the human microbiome in the air around a person, but we were surprised to find that we could identify most of the occupants just by sampling their microbial cloud.”
Doctors and scientists have long known that humans are housing myriads of microbes, of which most of them are helpful to us, whether they lay on the skin or in our gastrointestinal tract. Scientists have called this cluster of bacteria the microbiome.
What the study emerging from Oregon has found is that humans also produce this sort of cloud around themselves that carries a large part of their microbiome.
Professor Meadow and his co-workers have analyze the air that was floating around a sealed chamer with 11 randomly selected individuals.
To their surprise, the researches have found that the majority of the study participants could be identified within a couple of hours after leaving the chamber. Yes, all this just by analyzing the cloud of bacteria people had left behind.
The secret in distinguishing humans is by detecting the different colonies of bacteria they are emitting, these groups of bacteria are unique from one individual to another, kinda like a blueprint, said the researchers. The key species detected in these colonies were Streptococcus, which generally can be found in our mouth, while the second most common germs were skin bacteria such as Corynebacterium and Propionibacterium.
Meadow said that he and his research team’s findings prove that unoccupied spaces are microbially different than occupied ones. More so, their research also exclusively show that humans release their own specific microbial cloud.
In addition, the breakthrough Oregon study may help us understand just how certain infectious diseases are spread across neighborhoods. Meadow also suggests that the findings could offer exciting new ways of identifying criminals.
Photo credits: Torange