UO study says smartphones are carriers of your own microbiome

When your index fingers and thumbs do your bidding as you finesse messages and make calls on your smartphone, that well-used device captures your own microbial makeup and potentially could be tapped as bacterial or environmental sensors, says a team of University of Oregon researchers.

The study, based on a sampling of just 17 subjects who participated in a conference workshop, was published this week in the online open-access, peer-reviewed journal PeerJ. James F. Meadow, a postdoctoral researcher in the UO's Biology and the Built Environment Center, led the project.

The study is detailed in Science Daily's story headlined: Cell phones reflect our personal microbiome.

- by Jim Barlow, Public Affairs Communications