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Your Smartphone Is Covered In Bacteria As These Bioart Images Show

Students turned the bacteria on their phones into artworks.

We’re all vaguely aware of the unseen bacteria that lurks all around us on our desks, in those free bar snacks (the horror…), and on our smartphones. But a group of students from the University of Surrey in the UK have gone a step further than just going “Ewwww” and have created some bioart using the tiny microorganisms that lie in wait on our cellphones.

They did this by imprinting their phones onto a petri dish filled with growth media and then left them for three days to see what bacteria (if any) would grow. But grow it did, resulting in the images below which feature mostly harmless bacteria (Micrococcus), but they also discovered some disease carrying stuff too (Staphylococcus aureus)—which isn’t great news if you want to use your phone ever again (or borrow someone else’s for that matter).


Dr. Simon Park, who teaches the course that the students created the bioart in, says on his blog: “From these results, it seems that the mobile phone doesn't just remember telephone numbers, but also harbours a history of our personal and physical contacts such as other people, soil, etc.”

But just think, as well as harboring all that nastiness, lying dormant are the patterns below just waiting to be unearthed.

[via Wired UK]