Cops could use bacterial signatures to catch a murderer

August 28, 2014 6:02 PM

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When you move from one house to another, you take all your bacteria with you. In fact, your family's microbiome (or your eco-system of inner and outer bacteria) lays claim to hotel rooms with hours. Our bacterial signatures are so persistent and so unique, a new study published Thursday in Science reports, that they could even be used in forensic investigations — and eventually become more useful to police than an old-fashioned fingerprint. And the same research that could track down a serial killer could also help you raise healthier kids.

In studying seven families as they moved from one house to another, the microbiologists had one major takeaway: Bacteria move from your body to your living space at incredible speed.

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