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Ever wonder what the bacteria on your handset looks like?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Ever wonder what the bacteria on your handset looks like?
Students taking the undergraduate Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology class at the University of Surrey were given an assignment to imprint their handsets on to a petri dish and then culture the bacteria that grew. According to Simon Park, the professor teaching the class, most of the bacteria that grew was harmless stuff, although rather gruesome looking under a high powered microscope. The Micrococcus species, found on your skin, showed up in the dish, but so did some disease carrying bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. Park wasn't surprised since 20% of us carry that around at all times.

Interestingly, non-touch phones tended to have most of its growth by the keyboard while touchscreen models were teeming with bacteria all over the handset. It's enough to make you want to reach for an antibacterial wipe before you touch your phone again!

source: Wired via CNET

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posted on 21 Feb 2013, 03:44 8

1. MrJerry (Posts: 403; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


I dont wanna wonder

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 04:23 11

2. jade272727 (Posts: 62; Member since: 10 Dec 2011)


posted on 22 Feb 2013, 11:00

17. ZayZay (Posts: 571; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)

This made me clean all of my devices this morning. Sick!

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 04:28 18

3. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

thumps up if you didnt wanted to open this article but u still did !

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 05:22 14

4. DOUBLE_BASS (Posts: 48; Member since: 18 Apr 2012)

Aww, these little creatures are cute ^^


posted on 21 Feb 2013, 07:03 9

5. lyndon420 (Posts: 5000; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

Iphones are dirty...don't buy one.

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 07:17 3

6. Ameliahunter (Posts: 26; Member since: 15 Jan 2013)

OMG, what's that??? I think I need something to clean my phone... NOW!!!

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 07:40 2

7. Shrihari (Posts: 102; Member since: 29 Jan 2013)

never cared till now...(nothing has happened)...still wont care...

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 08:14 11

8. SuperNexus (Posts: 127; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

Sony Xperia Z may not face this problem because
we can wash Xperia Z.

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 08:50

10. FireDragon (Posts: 117; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)

Haha, good one.

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 07:37

16. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)

that was a good one

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 08:23

9. jonartpop (Posts: 194; Member since: 25 Oct 2012)


posted on 21 Feb 2013, 08:53

11. FireDragon (Posts: 117; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)

I think I read it two years ago. But pictures impact more. Full screen handsets collects (and deliver) more of these, we use them while eating, while attending other nature calls, some take it with them just about everywhere (as artist mention too) and it rub against (sometimes) greesy and sweaty hair or skin. We drop (put) them just about anywhere and pick it up. And how many times do we actually clean them? Not as much... :)

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 11:42 1

12. JunitoNH (Posts: 1934; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)

The issue is, which one are more harmful. Bacteria is everywhere including your skin.

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 14:19

13. TheMan (Posts: 493; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

The last one is pretty.

Still, this is old news; only the photos are new. I just wish the microbes had been identified in each image.

Which reminds me. Whenever a customer hands me his debris-encrusted smartphone or flip phone, I can only think of the study from a few years ago that found 47% of tested handsets had fecal matter on them. (Yes, I've seen lower numbers, too.) For the uninformed, that's crap.

I'm confident it's gotten worse -- for me, at least -- since the study predates the rise of the machines, um, smartphones, which are handled more frequently than your grandmother's flip phone.

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 14:43

14. SavageLucy42 (Posts: 211; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)

I feel like a germ-o-phobe hypochondriac, but occasionally I do take a dot of hand sanitizer on a napkin and wipe my phone (and hands) down.

The pictures make me feel less durpy about that practice.

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 00:43

15. haroonazeem638 (Posts: 141; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)

You guys have to realize that we all are covered in bacteria (harmful and unharmful) at all times. The pictures that you see above are after growing that bacteria for maybe a week in petri dishes (where the bacteria have nutrients to actually grow). You can keep your dirty phone on the table for weeks and you will see nothing like this because there is no nutrition aka food for bacteria to grow and multiply on your phone. There are probably more dead bacteria than live on our phones (if you can see).

Having said that, I do clean/wipe my phone almost everyday (mostly due to fingerprints). I like to keep my Nexus 4 as clean as possible :)

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 17:51

18. mydi.maus (unregistered)

xperia z is germ free wash it and you're good to go.

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