You're Always Surrounded By A Microbial Cloud

You're Always Surrounded By A Microbial Cloud

Your microbial cloud surrounds you at all times. It's a melting pot of bacteria, cells, particles, and other organisms that you exude from your skin and orifices. It also carries bits from other people's microbial clouds, as well as pieces of the environment you're occupying. Researchers who collected samples of various microbial clouds in a climate-controlled room have found that the clouds' makeup differs significantly from person to person. This discovery merits further studies with larger sample sizes, but holds promise for both health and law enforcement fields. Doctors could use microbial cloud research to learn more about germs spread, whereas police hope to identify criminals by matching them to their "microbial signatures."

05:36

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The climate chamber at the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory can help scientists determine how big of an influence a person has on an indoor microbiome. (1:25)

  • 2

    The most common types of bacteria in your microbial cloud are skin- and oral-associated microbes. (3:38)

  • 3

    Different people seem to have fairly unique microbial clouds. (4:20)

See all

Bacteria

Clouds

Computer Science

Drinking

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