Each of us lives in a unique cloud of germs, and we carry it everywhere we go, a new study finds.It settles into our homes and even hotel rooms, and a person’s particular germ fingerprint may be a better way to track them than real fingerprints or even DNA, the researchers report in the journal Science.They sampled seven families, including 18 people, three dogs and a cat. Three of the families moved during the study, so the researchers tested two houses plus hotel rooms for each of them.The volunteers swabbed their hands, noses and feet, as well as floors, counters and other surfaces in their homes.
The analysis confirmed what scientists have learned in recent years about the microbiome — the collection of bacteria, yeast and viruses that live in and on our bodies. Each person has a unique collection of these germs. What they also found was that everyone spreads this cloud around.“We had a young couple that moved from a hotel into a new house,” Jack Gilbert, an environmental microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratories and the University of Chicago, told NBC News. “Their microbiomes overwhelmed the microbiome of the hotel room so their hotel room looked more like their new home, microbially speaking.” And it only took a day for it to happen.This aura or cloud of germs defines who people are and who they spend time with.
They say that this is probably why dogs can track you so well,the microbes that you leave behind when you touch things begin to grow and bloom, leaving a unique trail of your very own behind.
They also hint that this could be yet another way to keep track of and identify you.