Molecules found on mobile phones now reveal a lot about the owner’s health and lifestyle and this also includes their medication and food preferences.
Californian scientists found everything in traces right from caffeine to skin creams and anti-depressants on 40 phones on testing. They supported by saying that ‘we leave traces of chemicals, molecules and bacteria on everything that we touch’.
Even thoroughly washing hands does not prevent transfer to everyday objects, said the researchers.
Using a technique referred to mass spectrometry, the research team of University of California San Diego tested 500 samples from 40 adults’ mobile phones and hands.
On comparing them to molecules identified database and produced a “lifestyle profile” of each owner of the phone.
“By analyzing the molecules on their phones left behind, a person is a female could be identified based on the high-end cosmetics, if she dyes her hair, drinks coffee, likes spicy food, prefers beer over wine, is on treatment for depression, wears bug spray and sunscreen and therefore spends lot of time outdoors “she said.
Most molecules are transferred from people’s hands, skin and sweat to their phone. In fact, even sunscreens and mosquito repellents were also found lingering on the phones and skin of people, even when the device was not in use for months.
Prof Pieter Dorrestein, Senior author said there were 1,000 different microbes at least living on any average person’s skin, on the body in hundreds of locations. The researchers are now trying to know more about the multitude of bacteria and things it reveals about a person.