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Dr. Fist-Bump

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Palmar surface after 20 handshakes

Image Credit: Ghareeb et al. (2013), Journal of Hospital Infection
Source: Fist Bumps for Germophobes by Christina Agapakis on Oscillator

The thought of outlawing handshakes and making fist bumps mandatory for hospital employees might strike you as rather amusing. But in studies that attempt to quantify the transfer of potential pathogens via customary greetings such as handshakes, high-fives, and, yes, fist bumps, handshakes consistently transfer the most bacteria from one individual to another, as illustrated by this cornucopia of colonies that sprung up after 20 handshakes in one study. Fist bumps, in contrast, transfer the least, making them a smarter (and perhaps cooler) greeting for doctors and nurses to engage in. Read more at Christina Agapakis’ post Fist Bumps for Germophobes on Oscillator.

Kalliopi Monoyios About the Author: Kalliopi Monoyios is an independent science illustrator. She has illustrated several popular science books including Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within, and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Find her at www.kalliopimonoyios.com. Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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