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In pictures: bacteria grown from mobile phone imprints

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A team of molecular biology students at the University of Surrey has created a series of 'artworks' by imprinting mobile phones onto a layer of bacteriological growth media.

Students in the undergraduate Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology class run by Simon Park were encouraged to imprint their mobile phones onto a petri dish filled with the growth media to see what bacteria were present. After three days, the imprints had bloomed with bacteria.

According to Park, most of the bacteria were harmless ones normally found on the skin, such as the Micrococcus species. However, disease carrying bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus were also found. Park is not surprised by this as around 20 percent of people persistently carry the bacterium, while 60 percent of us are intermittent carriers.

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