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Microbes On 8-Year-Old Boy’s Handprint After Playing Outside
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Parenting, Science7 years ago

Microbes On 8-Year-Old Boy’s Handprint After Playing Outside

Tasha Sturm, a lab technician at Cabrillo College in California, has created an extraordinary set of images that illustrate the diverse world of microbes that lives on our skin. This colorful petri dish is full of bacteria, yeast, and fungi that were found on her 8-year-old son’s hand after he finished playing outside.

Sturm explained the process on Microbe World, where she posted the images. She used tryptic soy agar, which forms a nutritious jelly perfect for growing microbial cultures. After her son pressed his hand gently into the gel, she incubated it and let the bacteria flourish for a few days. Though the resulting petri dish should be treated as a biohazard, it should also be noted that having both harmful and good bacteria on your hands and skin is normal. To the displeasure of germaphobes though, exposure to safe amounts and types of bacteria ensures a healthy ‘microbiome,’ immune system and digestive tract.

The different visible structures of these bacterial colonies grown in the handprint reflect their microscopic characteristics. Microbes with and without protective membranes or flagella (which allow them to swim) will all create colonies of different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.

More info: microbeworld.org (h/t: colossal)

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JamieThomson
Community Member
7 years ago

XD Clean freaks are idiots... We have an IMUNE SYSTEM, you know? Them cute little white blood cells that fight off infections... Washing hands and using bleach kills germs.... Temporarily, but not only does it weaken that immune system that you need to stay alive but it MAKES THE BUGS STRONGER... So next time you get an infections and you die from it, IT IS NOT BECAUSE YOU WERENT CLEAN ENOUGH it is because YOU WERE NOT DIRTY ENOUGH!!!!

MartinaCrews
Community Member
7 years ago

I think it doesnt hurt to keep your hands clean. Dont go overboard but within reason...

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KittyPurry
Community Member
7 years ago

These are really amazing. I have always believed that if we could all see what's really on our hands/bodies all the time we would be in the bath every half hour lol.

LJennings
Community Member
7 years ago

No, just you :) (jk) but seriously, being paranoid about dirt and germs is what decreases immunity and gives rise to allergies. People should take less baths and get dirty more. As someone said earlier, unless is radioactive, it won't kill you.

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MikiNyckel
Community Member
7 years ago

Relax. Playing in the dirt is not going to hurt anyone. Unless it's, you know, beside a radioactive plant. This only serves to make people more afraid of things they don't need to be afraid of.

ChelseaStark
Community Member
6 years ago

No, it's OK to be afraid of your kids eating mud pies or putting their mouths on the school water fountain.

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JamieThomson
Community Member
7 years ago

XD Clean freaks are idiots... We have an IMUNE SYSTEM, you know? Them cute little white blood cells that fight off infections... Washing hands and using bleach kills germs.... Temporarily, but not only does it weaken that immune system that you need to stay alive but it MAKES THE BUGS STRONGER... So next time you get an infections and you die from it, IT IS NOT BECAUSE YOU WERENT CLEAN ENOUGH it is because YOU WERE NOT DIRTY ENOUGH!!!!

MartinaCrews
Community Member
7 years ago

I think it doesnt hurt to keep your hands clean. Dont go overboard but within reason...

Load More Replies...
KittyPurry
Community Member
7 years ago

These are really amazing. I have always believed that if we could all see what's really on our hands/bodies all the time we would be in the bath every half hour lol.

LJennings
Community Member
7 years ago

No, just you :) (jk) but seriously, being paranoid about dirt and germs is what decreases immunity and gives rise to allergies. People should take less baths and get dirty more. As someone said earlier, unless is radioactive, it won't kill you.

Load More Replies...
MikiNyckel
Community Member
7 years ago

Relax. Playing in the dirt is not going to hurt anyone. Unless it's, you know, beside a radioactive plant. This only serves to make people more afraid of things they don't need to be afraid of.

ChelseaStark
Community Member
6 years ago

No, it's OK to be afraid of your kids eating mud pies or putting their mouths on the school water fountain.

Load More Replies...
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