You are surrounded by a germ cloud that is as unique as your fingerprint

Did you know that surrounding your body is a microbial cloud that contains millions of bugs which come out of pores and other various points in the body, including your mouth, hair and skin? Each cloud has a unique signature which can be read through genetic analysis of the bacteria in the cloud.

Scientists say that the information in this microbial cloud is unique enough that they could use this information to identify a group of 11 volunteers based on their cloud; a basic sample of the germs in the air around them revealed their identity. A volunteer in the study would sit in a chamber alone, and then scientists would take a sample of the air and dust inside the chamber, from which scientists were able to identify thousands of different types of bacteria.

Most volunteers could be identified in only four hours, using just the sampling of the bugs from their unique microbial cloud.

Lead researcher Dr. James Meadow from the University of Oregon said: “We 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.”


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