the bitty things living on PopSci’s hands
WE SWABBED OUR STAFFERS’ PALMS. HERE’S WHAT WE FOUND.
Micrococcus luteus is common in dust and soil and on skin— and harmless to healthy immune systems.
Klebsiella oxytoca resides on mucus membranes and skin; it often causes infections in hospitals.
Acinetobacter baumannii is in most dirt and water; a drug-resistant strain infects many soldiers.
Bacillus flexus produces minerals that make concrete stronger. Typically, it hangs out in soil.
Comamonas lives almost everywhere, and can break down hormones in polluted waters.