A Tiny, Living Identification Badge: Your Microbiome

10:52 minutes

When you watch a TV crime drama, seeing the crime scene technicians dusting for fingerprints is a matter of course. Lately, DNA evidence has been all the rage. But new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could point the way to a new identification tool—your microbiome. Biostatistics researcher Eric Franzosa and colleagues found that the specific combinations of strains of bacteria that live on and in a person can be used to identify that individual, even up to a year after the samples were taken.

Segment Guests

Eric Franzosa

Eric Franzosa is research fellow at the department of biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director and senior producer, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.