Bacteria are among the smallest organisms on earth. These tiny species are also one of the oldest living organisms. Bodies, especially hands, are teeming with bacteria. Although bacteria are often viewed as negative and disease-causing, having some bacteria is actually helpful to humans. Of course, there are plenty of harmful bacteria lurking on our bodies as well.
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Not all bacteria are bad. Some bacteria can actually help protect us from illness. Good bacteria helps inhibit the growth of the harmful kind. In actuality, the majority of the bacteria we have on our body are harmless or even beneficial.
Bacteria can cause such illnesses and diseases as tetanus, pneumonia, syphilis and tuberculosis. Staphylococcus aureus is a bad bacteria that can cause a number of infections, including folliculitis, boils, scalded skin syndrome and impetigo. Mycobacterium and Bacillus spp may also be found on the skin of the hand.
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A 2008 study found that there are in fact 150 types of bacteria on human hands. The study was conducted by Colorado's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Interestingly though, the study also found that men and women vary in the types of bacteria found on their hands. Women have a significantly higher variety of bacteria on their hands than men do.
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