Created by researchers from the University of Surrey, UK, this image shows the culture of bacteria grown in a petri dish after students pressed the surface of their phones against the agar substrate. It took just three days for this tangled web to form.
While many of the bacteria that the researchers found were harmless, the likes of Staphylococcus aureus — a common cause of Staph infections including food poisoning, impetigo and even septicaemia — showed up, too. Dr Simon Park, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology, University of Surrey, explains:
“The ecological niche on the body for Staphylococcus aureus is the nostrils, so a furtive pick of the nose, and quick text after, and you end up with this pathogen on your smartphone.”
Ugh. Someone pass the bleach, stat. [Daily Mail]
Image from University of Surry