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Expat wanderer

More Bacteria on Women’s Hands

This is from BBC Health News:

Women’s hands ‘harbour more bugs’

Human skin harbours many bacteria
Women have a greater range of different types of bacteria on the palms of their hands than men, US research suggests.

The study also found that human hands harbour far higher numbers of bacteria species than previously thought.

Using powerful gene sequencing techniques, researchers found a typical hand had roughly 150 different species of bacteria living on it.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study found bacteria types varied greatly between individuals.

The researchers, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, hope their work will help scientists to establish a “healthy baseline” of bacteria species on the human hand.

This could potentially help them to identify which species are linked to specific diseases.
Lead researcher Dr Noah Fierer said: “The sheer number of bacteria species detected on the hands of the study participants was a big surprise, and so was the greater diversity of bacteria we found on the hands of women.”

The study detected and identified more than 4,700 different bacteria species across 102 human hands in the study.

However, only five species were shared among all 51 participants.
Even the right and left palms of the same individual shared an average of only 17% of the same bacteria types.

Acidic skin
Dr Fierer said that the higher bacterial diversity on women’s hands may be due to the fact that men tend to have more acidic skin, which provides a more harsh living environment for the microscopic bugs.

Alternatively, differences in sweat, oil gland or hormone production may be key – or the fact that women and men tend to make different use of cosmetics such as moisturisers.

Dr Fierer said the study also found hand washing had little impact on the diversity of bacteria found on an individual’s hands.

Maybe it’s because Women carry purses?

November 4, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

11 Comments »

  1. Woman should not be allowed to caress their babies then! Or their man or pets 😛

    Comment by Patrick Semaan | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hee heee, Patrick. Actually, the article states that we ALL have huge amounts of bacteria on our hands and they can’t figure out why women have more varieties. It may not necessarily be all bad – it may help our immune systems . . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  3. Glad to be a guy =P

    Comment by Q8GEEK | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  4. Think of all the things women do that men usually don’t–anything dealing with kids, like wiping noses and changing diapers, preparing food, more shopping and handling money. All of these are huge sources of bacteria.

    Comment by momcat | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  5. Think of all the things women do that men usually don’t–anything dealing with kids, like wiping noses and changing diapers, preparing food, more shopping and handling money. All of these are huge sources of bacteria.

    Comment by momcat | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  6. Sorry about dup posting–my computer did something weird!

    Comment by momcat | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  7. Makes sense, Germy Women!

    Vote for Nader.

    Comment by Purgatory | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  8. momcat:
    EXACTLY!!… men’s life is so easy and simple… women’s life is so hard and complex…

    don’t get me wrong… I really appreciate every single women in this planet since i came from one of’em to this life (though I think i came from outer space or something… maybe mars)…

    but men have it simple while women have it complex… thats why i’m glad i’m having it simple… i’m not disrespecting women at all

    Comment by Q8GEEK | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  9. LOL, Momcat – you are right! Poopy bottoms, viral noses, grubby money, and then – we prepare food! We probably all need to do a lot more hand washing!

    Purg – Don’t get me started!

    Q8Geek – Say what?

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  10. what? 😛

    Comment by Q8GEEK | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  11. LLOOLLL

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 5, 2008 | Reply


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