Microbiome Provides a Unique, Enduring "Fingerprint"

A new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reveals for the first time that intestinal bacteria can be used as a forensic tool, helping scientists identify individuals from hundreds of samples. The research was published in PNAS.

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We as humans have a lot of characteristics that make us easy to distinguish from one another, such as the details in our fingerprints, eyes, and hair. Research over the past few years has shown that the bacteria living in various parts of the human body are also unique.

Martin Delahunty

Global Director, Nature Partner Journals, Nature Research

Working within Nature Research's Open Research Group, I am Global Director for Nature Partner Journals based in London. I have responsibility across five global office locations to develop Nature Partner Journals, a new series of online-only, open access journals, published in collaboration with world-renowned partners. Launched in April 2014, the portfolio now includes 14 titles including 'npj Biofilms and Microbiomes'. I have a Degree in Natural Sciences specializing in Microbiology from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Business Administration from The Open University. Within the broader medical publications community, I serve as Secretary and Trustee for the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals.