OCT 05, 2016 02:59 PM PDT
Real-Life Experiment Shows People Have Disgusting Hands
WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 3 382

The average person touches about 300 different surfaces every half hour. Among these things are two of the proclaimed germ-ridden items: our phones and the computer keyboards. After touching the various items, we then touch our face, rub our eyes, pick up food, and so on.

But while we know our hands are dirty, just how dirty are they? The question is tough to answer with naked eyes, as bacteria are microscopic. So, hands don't have to be covered in mud for them to be ridden with bacteria.

To answer this question, one doctor and his team collected hand swabs from 50 random people. The swabs were then cultured back in the lab on agar plates to visually see the bacterial colonies that grew. The team found that about a third of the people had "heavily contaminated" hands, while 10 percent had "grossly contaminated" hands. Even more shocking, a big portion of people had bacteria normally found in fecal matter! Think about this next time you decide to skip washing your hands!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 08, 2018
Videos
MAY 08, 2018
How NASA Could Study Titan's Oceans
NASA has an interest in exploring Titan's oceans and plans to take an unconventional approach to studying them: send an interplanetary submarine to dive de
MAY 27, 2018
Videos
MAY 27, 2018
Bald Eagle and Fox Fight for Prey in Mid-Air
Imagine you're a fox and you just scored an excellent rabbit dinner. Now, imagine a bald eagle swooping down from above and attempting to steal your prey r
JUN 05, 2018
Videos
JUN 05, 2018
Gauging Animal Intelligence is No Easy Task
Researchers are continually attempting to gauge intelligence in animals by putting them through various tests. These tests are designed to recognize intell
JUN 11, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 11, 2018
Doing Well at Eurovision Makes People Happier
Countries in Europe are famous for rooting on their soccer teams, but a recent study conducted at the Imperial College of London showed that the further a
JUN 14, 2018
Videos
JUN 14, 2018
Video: MIT Trains AI to Clean House
Robots Learn New Chores in Sims World
JUN 15, 2018
Videos
JUN 15, 2018
Is my sweet tooth genetic?
I can’t be the only one with a sometimes-uncontrollable sweet tooth. But what’s the deal – why do I like sweets so much? “Certainly
Loading Comments...