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Creating a 3D microbial and chemical snapshot of a human habitat.

  • Author(s): Kapono, Clifford A
  • Morton, James T
  • Bouslimani, Amina
  • Melnik, Alexey V
  • Orlinsky, Kayla
  • Knaan, Tal Luzzatto
  • Garg, Neha
  • Vázquez-Baeza, Yoshiki
  • Protsyuk, Ivan
  • Janssen, Stefan
  • Zhu, Qiyun
  • Alexandrov, Theodore
  • Smarr, Larry
  • Knight, Rob
  • Dorrestein, Pieter C
  • et al.
Abstract

One of the goals of forensic science is to identify individuals and their lifestyle by analyzing the trace signatures left behind in built environments. Here, microbiome and metabolomic methods were used to see how its occupants used an office and to also gain insights into the lifestyle characteristics such as diet, medications, and personal care products of the occupants. 3D molecular cartography, a molecular visualization technology, was used in combination with mass spectrometry and microbial inventories to highlight human-environmental interactions. Molecular signatures were correlated with the individuals as well as their interactions with this indoor environment. There are person-specific chemical and microbial signatures associated with this environment that directly relate who had touched objects such as computers, computer mice, cell phones, desk phone, table or desks. By combining molecular and microbial investigation forensic strategies, this study offers novel insights to investigators who value the reconstructing of human lifestyle and characterization of human environmental interaction.

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