Fungal DNA allows scientists to trace dust particles

April 15, 2015 6:30 PM

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Fungal DNA allows scientists to trace dust particles

Scientists were originally looking at what dust samples could tell them about the microbial makeup found in homes around the country. In looking at genetic signatures among the dust samples collected from more than 1,000 homes from 47 of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, researchers realized the different types of fungus found on dust particles varied dramatically from region to region.

"Based on that finding, we wanted to determine if you could predict where a dust sample came from based on the fungi present in the sample, and -- most of the time -- we can," Neal Grantham, the study's lead author and a PhD student in statistics at North Carolina State, said in a press release.

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