Fingerprints and DNA it turns out are not the only ways of identifying a person. Believe it or not each one of us has a unique bacterial cloud.

What this means is that everything a person has contact with has an imprint of bacteria different from all other humans. So if we sit on a chair, open the freezer or touch a glass, leave behind many different species of bacteria. With modern technology the ratios and numbers of each species can be identified and ultimately linked to us.

Why should anyone care? For one, in terms of catching criminals, yet another tool is available. Wearing gloves and face mask, might hamper DNA and fingerprinting, but wouldn’t affect the bacteria left behind. For another, if someone develops a disease such as cancer for example, changes in the bacterial cloud would result. One day such changes might be used to diagnose a disease early on. Carriers of serious diseases who are unaware of being a Typhoid Mary, could be found and treated appropriately.

Of course, in terms of privacy, this raises some serious issues. It is already bad enough that drones are here and are capable of monitoring virtually anyone outside anywhere. Now, we can follow you via your bacterial imprint anywhere you go as well. If a private detective wants to catch someone fooling around for example, a simple swab on a neighbor’s doorknob might do the trick.

Still, I think the benefits at least for now, outweigh the risks. So just remember that you leave more than just a food stain on that couch.