Everybody knows how quickly dust can pile up, but a new analysis of the microbial life inside household dust can reveal a surprising number of details about the homeowner.
Even if you’re living on your own, you are still splitting the rent with thousands of different types of microbes. According to a report from the LA Times, a recent analysis revealed that most people are currently living with about 7,000 different species of bacteria, and 2,000 species of fungi found in common household dust.
The species aren’t the same in every home, however. In fact, the analysis revealed that the lineup of bacteria and fungi species present in a home could reveal a number of interesting facts about the homeowner.
For example, a home’s bacterial community changes when there is a pet present, and even changes between dogs and cats in the house. Researchers also found that men and women carry different species of bacteria. Based on a study of an individual home’s bacterial populations, one would be able to deduce who lived there, the ratio of males to females, and which types of pets stayed in the house.
The fungi, on the other hand, were found to be indicative of the home area’s environment and climate. A blind analysis of the fungal communities in a home would give researchers a pretty good idea of where it was located.
Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder examined 1,200 homes across the country and found a surprisingly varied cast of species. The scientists stressed that none of the microbes commonly found in households are dangerous, and that people should not be worried for their health and safety.