Skip to main content

So Swab Me

So Swab Me

What’s got more bacteria growing on it: the mouse that you use at your computer or the one you hope doesn’t scurry across your keyboard? Think long and hard about your guess. Biologist Caitlin Jackson and I set out to find out just how much bacteria is growing on some of the surfaces closest to us. We took swabs of 22 common surfaces from hair ties to cell phones and what we found may surprise you. Swabs were taken on August 20, 2015 and cultured on nutrient agar for four days. Below are the highlights:

Last but not least, some close-ups. Can you match them to the slides above?

Here’s more resources for your personal exploration:

Environmental Sampling Kit
Do this at your next Science Fair
Put disinfectants to the test