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Single-Celled Office Mates, by the Thousands

Men’s offices have more bacteria than women’s offices.

Not only that: Offices in New York City house more bacteria than those in San Francisco.

These are among the findings of a new study in the journal PLoS One that looks at bacteria in more than 90 offices in three cities — San Francisco, New York and Tucson — and on five types of surfaces: chairs, desktops, phones, computer mice and keyboards.

The bacteria count in men’s offices was 10 to 20 percent greater than in women’s.

“It could be men are just bigger — they have bigger mouths and more surface area — but it could also be that men are less hygienic,” said an author of the study, Scott Kelley, a microbiologist at San Diego State University.
 
 

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