Blog Archive

Friday, 15 April 2016

Handy Bacteria

No, not bacteria that can put up your shelves or fix the sink, or even ones that are useful to us... I'm talking hand bacteria! On your hands!

I mentioned before how pretty much everything is harbouring all sorts of bacteria. That definitely includes our hands! Skin is covered with salts and oils and stuff like that that bacteria find super tasty, and that's just average skin! We constantly touch things with our hands, getting tiny but significant amounts of all sorts of stuff (including more bacteria) on them. Now, don't be scared by the whole 'completely coated head to toe in bacteria' thing because as I've said before the overwhelming majority of them won't hurt us! But depending on what you're sticking your hands on, you might pick up something grisly like salmonella or whatever. That's not just touching chicken, though; if Edgar touches a contaminated chicken fillet, then touches the taps or door handle, there'll be salmonella on there, which can get on your hands even if you don't go anywhere near the chicken! Also, never ever wash raw chicken unless you like the idea of spraying tiny droplets of food poisoning onto every surface of your kitchen...

Anyway this isn't a post about food safety, it's about the hand bugs! Recently some researchers found that by comparing the bacteria on your hands to the ones on your belongings, like your phone or keyboard, they can actually get a pretty decent picture of who owns which thing! They'd like to use it for forensic stuff but that's a long way away if it ever happens at all.

Hooray! You thought I was going to be talking about food poisoning and telling you to wash your hands, but no! I pulled it back to the friendly bacteria again, this time crime-solving bacteria! Is there anything they can't do?!

We just watched Bone Tomohawk, it was great but the amount of wound infections and stuff they were constantly risking seemed crazy! We really take for granted how much we know about not getting gangrene that folks back then had no idea about... I guess we take 'not getting killed with an axe' for granted too but I'm here for the microbes not the axe murders!

Good film though, check it out!

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