​Does Your Phone Know Your DNA?

By Josh Jezard

​Does Your Phone Know Your DNA?

According to BBC Health, molecules found on mobile phones reveal an astonishing amount about the owner's health and lifestyle - including their food preferences and medication.

Californian scientists found traces of everything from skin cream, fragrance preference, caffeine, and medications on 40 phones they tested.

Everything we touch, we leave personal bacteria, molecules, and chemicals there. Even washing hands thoroughly would not prevent the transfer to everyday objects, the researchers said.

Dr Amina Bouslimani said “we could tell if a person is likely to be female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee, prefers beer over wine, likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray - and therefore likely to spend a lot of time outdoors - all kinds of things”.

These results are very revealing into the owner lifestyle and habitual ways. The study said the testing method could identify an objects owner in the absence of fingerprints, help prove whether a patient was taking their medication, and provide useful information about a person’s exposure to pollution.

Senior author Prof Pieter Dorrestein said there were at least 1,000 different microbes living on the average person's skin, in hundreds of locations on the body.

It all sounds very CSI Miami, but is a clear development on the research into the multitude of bacteria that cover our skin – and ultimately what they reveal about ourselves.

Can you imagine how phone DNA analysis could help with patient diagnosis? With today’s technologically advanced world, this venture doesn’t seem farfetched.

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