How Germs Could Incriminate You


Next time you think about robbing a bank or rifling through your daughter’s diary, you might want to wash your hands first.

A study released earlier this week found that bacteria on your hands could leave a different kind of fingerprint on crime scenes. According to the Los Angeles Times, the study argued that “human beings leave a trail of bacteria on objects they touch and that the mix of microbes on each person's hand is highly individualized.”

It may sound like science fiction, but as the lead author of the study explained to the Times, the average person carries around 100 kinds of bacteria on their hands, and “only about 13% of that makeup is shared between any two people.”

Researchers took swabs of bacteria found on computer mice and tried to trace it back to one of the 270 individuals being tested. This method of identification proved accurate between 70% and 90% of the time. So not only could this be the next stage in forensics, but I’m also willing to bet that Dwight will start using this technique to incriminate Jim on a future episode of The Office. Watch your back, Halpert.

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