Friday, May 30, 2014

2238 Dirty Dollars

They talk about criminals caught for money laundering. Based on a recent article I read, maybe we should pay them to do it more.

The article was about how scientists had taken a sample of ordinary paper money to see what was on it. Not long ago a similar sampling had shown that it wasn't unusual to find traces of cocaine. Cocaine is everywhere. Even the city of London recently determined there are traces of cocaine in its water supply. No wonder England swings like a pendulum do.

These scientists was looking for something else: bacteria. And boy did they find it. They examined pieces of eighty one-dollar bills from a Manhattan bank and found 1.2 billion DNA segments. 

About half the DNA was human, so you foil-hatters can rest easy about aliens handling our money supply on the sly. Or maybe not, since 20% was unidentifiable. But researchers were able to finger any number of nasty microbes hitchhiking on the bills. More than 3000 types to be exact.

Bacteria linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning, and staph infections, especially antibiotic-resistant staph. Lesson here: Don't accept cash for your change at a pharmacy. 

The most common microbes found were those responsible for acne. Eww. Makes one wonder what teenagers are doing with their money. I know "paper" currency is actually made of shredded cloth, but last I checked, dollar bills didn't make good Kleenex.

The really spooky thing is the cotton-linen blend of money's raw material seems to encourage bacterial growth when mixed with oily human residue. Yes, bacteria were actually actively growing on the money.

By the way. They also found bacteria associated with fecal matter. Double-Eww. I guess they'll need a new sign at McDonalds. “Please wash hands after paying for meal”…

America, ya gotta love it. 

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