Display screens its dirty ecosystem of pathogens

Display screens its dirty ecosystem of pathogens

One major consideration when we talk about smartphones, laptops or television screens is the resolution of the display, and as a rough guide, larger numbers are better here. Encompassed within this ‘resolution’ category is the size of the screen (in inches), the number of pixels (how much information it can show), and how densely those pixels are packed, referred to as Pixels Per Inch (ppi). That is the first thing we ask the vendor when we buy a new gadget. Currently we have HD, Full HD, Quad HD/2k, and Ultra HD/4k in increasing order. With these technologies reigning the market, gone are the days of feature phones with digital display.



We use our phones every day. Phones are basically an extension of ourselves and because of that, there was an implication that mobile phones could be a reservoir of bacteria. Scientist found the bacterial colonies on their own phones. Large numbers of E. Coli live on our screens. If there are harmful bacteria on our mobile phones, imagine the clusters living on a LCD screen of a mall.


Colourful images of research projects ranging from “Breakthroughs in Airport Security” to “Making Coastal Ecosystes Resilient” fill a large room off the Atrium of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. Attendees at the ISEC opening interact with Northeastern University researchers who explain their groundbreaking findings. KimKim Lewis, University Distinguished Professor and Director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Centre, stands alongside a video demonstration of his work on “Eradicating Antibiotic-Resistant Disease.”


How did the bacteria end up there? One of the primary reasons is our own behaviour. The average person checks their mobile phone approximately once every 12 minutes, or 80 times per day. This means our hands are on our devices nonstop, and they are likely accompanying us on nearly every errand and activity, perhaps even when we visit the toilet. While you might think of yourself as a particularly clean person and a frequent hand-washer, your hands are actually one of the worst culprits. These appendages are in use constantly, touching everything from door handles to cash to sink taps. Along the way, your hands are capable of collecting enormous amounts of germs. From the fingertips to the elbow, you’ll find an average of 2 and 10 million bacteria. So, make sure you disinfect your phone from time to time.


Shraddha Patil

shraddha patil
shraddha patil


I am as flawed as you are. I don't pretend to be perfect. Though I chase perfection, I don't wish to achieve it. This chase is my choosen journey as well as destiny.

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