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There are 3000 types of bacteria on your dollar bills.

There are 3000 types of bacteria on your dollar bills.

Killer bacteria, drugs and even white rhino DNA: Researchers reveal dollar bills have up to 3,000 different types of organism on them

With money exchanging hands everyday, it's no surprise that it harbors thousands of types of bacteria, some of them more dangerous than others.

Yet unpublished research by NYU's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology has found 3,000 types of organisms on one dollar bills. 

Some of the bacteria found on the bills included those linked to pneumonia, gastric ulcers, food poisoning and staph infections, but the researchers also found other unexpected pieces of DNA on the banknotes, including that of a white rhino.

The most abundant type of bacteria found by the NYU team was one that causes acne, but some of the bacteria they found had genes that are responsible for resistance to antibiotics. 

The research, however, doesn't look at  Dr Jane Carlton, the director of genome sequencing at NYU's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, told the Wall Street Journal: 'It was quite amazing to us.

'We actually found that microbes grow on money.' 

Dr Carlton told the DailyMail.com that her and her team won't provide any further comments about the research until the results are written up. 

A different 2010 study which analyzed the bacteria on banknotes from 10 different countries found that the presence of bacteria on the notes was influenced by the material of the notes - polymer-based, or plastic banknotes, have significantly fewer numbers of bacteria compared to cotton-based banknotes.  

In Mexico, which had both types of banknotes, polymer-based ones only had a quarter of the number of bacteria found on cotton-based notes.

There was also a strong relationship between the number of bacteria on the banknote and the economic prosperity of the country - the lower the country's 'index of economic freedom,' the higher the number of bacteria on the bank notes. 

In a different UK study conducted by the University of Surrey, researchers found thousands of bacteria colonies living on money. 

Most of the bacteria found on the coins studied was harmless.

The most common type of bacteria they discovered living on UK coinage was bacillus mycoides, which is harmless

One ten pound note yielded Bacillus mycoides, which is common in soil, suggesting that someone was gardening before handling cash.

But MRSA and food poisoning bacteria have been found on money in previous studies.

The scientists found cases of staphylococcus aureus, which can cause boils and spots on the skin and is particularly dangerous to people whose immune systems may not be in peak condition, such as people in hospitals.

Around 20 per cent of people carry the bacteria in their nostrils, which means they likely touched their nose before handling money.

Dr Simon Park, a lecturer at the University of Surrey said money is usually kept in warm and moist pockets which offer ideal conditions for bacteria to grow and survive. 

'Consequently, the populations of bacteria on currency are much larger and more diverse, and money is likely to carry disease causing bacteria, said Dr Park.  

'It is something that we all share so it passes through many many different hands, washed and unwashed.' 


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