Thursday, 19 September 2013

Don't Touch Lizzy, You Don't Know Where She's Been

From New Scientist

Just as the Bank of England announced it was considering phasing in plastic pound notes in 2016 a study announces the fact that some bacteria tend to survive for longer on plastic than other currencies.

Habip Gedik at the Okmeydani Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, placed bacteria such as E.coli on differing currencies (the euro, US dollar, Canadian dollar, Moroccan dirham, Croatian kuna, Romanian leu and Indian rupee) and had volunteers handle these notes. The time between dosing the dosh with bacteria and handling was differed.

The best anti-bacterial notes was the euro, with the U.S money coming up second. The worst was the Romanian leu, with a large amount of bacteria being transferred to the handler after the most amount of time. The Romanian leu is similar to the New Zealand and Australian notes and we should all beware.

Still, it's probably less bacteria than the amount on your keyboard right now.

"I was amazed to see that some currencies act like breeding grounds for bacteria while others seem to be auto-sterilised," says team member Andreas Voss of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

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