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3,000 types of bacteria found on U.S. $1 bills

Researchers at the New York University's Dirty Money Project analyzed DNA on $1 bills and found some 3,000 types of bacteria -- many times more than previous research found using a microscope.
By Alex Cukan   |   April 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, April 23 (UPI) -- Researchers at the New York University's Dirty Money Project analyzed DNA on $1 bills and found some 3,000 types of bacteria -- many times more than studies using a microscope found.

Jane Carlton, director of genome sequencing at NYU's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology told the Wall Street Journal: "It was quite amazing to us. We actually found that microbes grow on money."

Carlton and colleagues used high-speed gene sequencing and computerized database analysis from 80 $1 bills to identify lifeforms via their DNA.

The unpublished findings said 1.2 billion DNA segments were found -- half human. The researchers found bacteria, viruses, fungi and pathogens on the money. Specifically, the study found Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of skin infections, respiratory disease and food poisoning; E.coli, a bacterium found in the intestine that can cause serious food poisoning; the bacterium that causes diphtheria and the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers on the $1 bills.

[The Wall Street Journal]

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