Students imprinted their phones onto petri dishes and these living images are the result.
This somewhat troubling gallery shows the bacteria that could be on your mobile phone. You often touch it and press it against your face, but after seeing some of these images, you might think again.
Wired reports that undergraduate students in the Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology class run by Simon Park at the University of Surrey imprinted their phones onto petri dishes filled with a bacteriological growth medium. After three days, they saw what bacteria their phones were carrying. According to Park, most of the bacteria were harmless ones normally found on the skin. He notes:
Bacteria can utilize many different things as vectors in order to promote their transmission. Insects, water, food, coughs and sneezes, sexual contact, and rain are just a few examples. The mobile phone appears to be no exception this rule… It seems that the mobile phone doesn’t just remember telephone numbers, but also harbours a history of our personal and physical contacts such as other people, soil, etc.
Click through to see the pieces of ‘art’ created by imprinting the students’ mobile phones: