Navigation Links
Women's Hands Home to More Types of Germs
Date:11/4/2008

But all palms contain 100 times the bacteria assumed, scientists say

TUESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women's hands have a veritable United Nations of germs compared to men's, a new study finds.

But both genders house vastly more bacteria on their palms than previously suspected, according to a new study from University of Colorado researchers that appears in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The information may enable scientists to figure out what a "healthy" level of bacteria is, diagnose diseases more precisely, and perhaps even get advance warning that something is going wrong.

"The findings of the last few decades suggest that many diseases are due to many organisms, and it's the concerted change that leads to disease," noted Robert E. Marquis, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Microbes are one of the last frontiers for human exploration. In fact, the National Institutes of Health has initiated the Human Microbiome Project, with the objective of mapping human microbiota, most of which is currently unknown.

"With all the bacteria in the world, we probably know of less than 1 percent of them," Marquis said.

The technology used in this study, already used to study ocean waters, will help enable scientists to encounter the other 99 percent, he said.

The skin, particularly the palms of the hands, house thriving bacterial communities. To get a sense of the flora residing there, researchers scrutinized the palms of 51 undergraduate students for bacteria, just after the students had finished their academic exams.

A sampling of the entire DNA of microbes (known as metagenomics) revealed some 332,000 gene sequences, or about 100 times more than was found in previous studies of skin bacteria.

On average, each hand was home to about 150 different species of bacteria. Overall, more than 4,700 bacterial species were identified on all hands, only five of which were common among all volunteers.

Only 17 percent of bacteria types were shared between right and left palms, while volunteers shared just 13 percent of bacteria species with each other, probably due to "environmental" conditions, such as oil production, skin dryness, and what surfaces the hand had previously touched.

Skin bacteria was more diverse than bacteria found on the forearm or elbows or, indeed, other parts of the body including the mouth and gut.

Women had more germ diversity than men, possibly due to different acidities on the hands, different hand-washing regimens, differential production of sweat, variable hormones and how often moisturizers or cosmetics are applied.

In general, hand washing did not seem to affect the diversity of bacteria (though it's still a good practice, the researchers stressed). Either the bacteria come back quickly after hand washing (at least the kind of hand washing practiced by these volunteers) or hand washing just doesn't dislodge bacteria, they said.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on the Human Microbiome Project.



SOURCES: Robert E. Marquis, Ph.D., professor, microbiology and immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center; Nov. 3-7, 2008, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Womenshealthchannel Enhancements Support Pregnant Teens
2. Two Little Hands Productions Completes the Second Series of Signing Time With Two New DVDs
3. Lake Forest, CA: SpeechPhone Launches Handsfree Driving Solution Just in Time to Comply with New Handsfree Driving Laws
4. Proud Hands Book Released to Benefit the American Parkinson Disease Association
5. State of Arizona to Use PocketCPR for Training Initiative on Hands-Only CPR
6. American Psychiatric Foundation Announces Recipients of 2008 Helping Hands Grants
7. Hands-Only Resuscitation OK for Cardiac Arrest
8. Hands on Disaster Response Extends Cyclone Relief Project
9. Kaiser Permanente Team Builds Prosthetic Hands for Charity
10. Qiao Xing Mobiles CECT Subsidiary Releases Newest Handset Model; C7000A Offers Cardiograph, 120 Days Ultra-Long Standby and 3.0 LCD Screen
11. Two Little Hands Productions, Creators of Popular Childrens TV Series Signing Time, Debuts Second Season at This Years Toy Fair 2008
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Women's Hands Home to More Types of Germs
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun ... NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is ... is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: ... souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is ... Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the ... today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. ... To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at ... for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) ... Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading innovator in ... medicine, today announced that St. Jude Medical Center,s Crosson ... as its 17 th member. Through participation with ... Institute will help develop standards of care and best ... cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in ... medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative ... into a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient outcomes, ... Design ... Solution ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... Oct. 5, 2017  In response to the ... and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that ... be used as a first-line therapy to manage ... Recognizing the value and ... Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: