Have you ever wondered what kind of stuff lies on your average ATM keypad? Well, it would seem that a team of researchers from a US University wanted to find out. The study was centered around bacteria that lives on our skin.
Researchers declared that each and every person is followed around, at all times, by a cloud of bacteria. Furthermore, it would also seem that the bacteria that form this cloud are as unique as your own fingerprints.
For some time now, scientists wanted to identify and catalog the bacteria that live in and outside of our body. A recent study showed that by analyzing the bacteria found on your smartphone’s screen, researchers could accurately tell what kind of person you are and where you’ve been lately.
The new ATM study started from the same assumption – that an ATM’s keypad can host all sort of bacteria, which can tell us a bit about who used the machine.
For the purpose of the study, several researchers went on a little field trip collecting DNA samples from ATMs located in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. They’ve managed to gather over 66 sample from over 8 locations in the city of New York.
Surprisingly enough, after sequencing DNA strands from the collected samples, researchers were able to determine many facts about ATM users, including what they like to eat. Furthermore, it would seem that the samples containing food remnants varied according to locations.
According to the researchers, the swab samples taken from ATM found in Central Harlem South revealed traces of chicken. On the other hand, after analyzing samples from Chinatown and Flushing, the team discovered traces of seafood – molecules found in mollusks and fish bones.
In other samples collected from midtown Manhattan, the researchers found Xeromyces bisporus. This is a food mold, which often developed on spoiled confectioneries, foods that are high in sugar, like cakes.
Researchers can use the results of the ATM study in order to draw a more accurate map of the bacteria floating around the city. Moreover, the results could also be used to identify a bacteria shift that may be consistent with the onset of an epidemic.
The findings of this study were published in the mSphere journal, which belongs to the American Society for Microbiology.
Image source: Pixabay
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