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Study: Women lead men in bacteria, hands down

November 4, 2008
Fun police are at it again. Holding hands, take the risk, probably sharing bacteria in other ways anyway.
clipped from news.yahoo.com

WASHINGTON – Wash your hands, folks, especially you ladies. A new study found that women have a greater variety of bacteria on their hands than men do. And everybody has more types of bacteria than the researchers expected to find.

“One thing that really is astonishing is the variability between individuals, and also between hands on the same individual,” said University of Colorado biochemistry assistant professor Rob Knight, a co-author of the paper.

“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,” added lead researcher Noah Fierer, an assistant professor in Colorado’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology.

The researchers aren’t sure why women harbored a greater variety of bacteria than men, but Fierer suggested it may have to so with the acidity of the skin. Knight said men generally have more acidic skin than women.

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