You know you share genes with your biological parents and kids, but what about microbes? A new study finds that families share skin, tongue and gut microbes with each other... and their dogs.
The study shows how the people and pets you live with affect the microscopic bacteria, fungi and other creatures living all over your body.
Researchers from universities across the U.S. studied 17 families with heterosexual parents and children ranging from infants to 18-year-olds; 17 families with one or more dogs, but no children; 18 families with kids and dogs; and 18 couples with no children or dogs. Volunteers sent in Q-tip-like swabs that they had rubbed on their foreheads, the palms of their hands, the tops of their tongues and a smudge of their feces (really). Study volunteers also sent in swabs of their dogs' paws, fur and tongues.
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