This money needs laundering! TikTok Scientist Reveals Invisible Bugs Hidden in Dirty Notes
A lab scientist uncovers the hidden world of bacteria on TikToks, shedding light on what germs lurk in our personal belongings.
Shocking videos by TikToker @Micromani2023 have exposed invisible germs all over our bank notes, phone screens and even drinking fountains.
The researcher, whose real name is Amani Abdursul, is a medical laboratory scientist in Tampa, Florida, with more than 60,000 followers on the platform influencing day and night.
The 39-year-old in a lab in Florida tests about 700 samples a day to identify the illnesses that patients are suffering from.
But even Amani was shocked by the germs he found on the $100 bill, sharing that some of the unusual ‘scary and slimy germs’ were unidentifiable.
Now Amani has started testing everyday objects for bacteria on his TikTok page @micromani2023
He posted: ‘I put a $100 bill in blood and left it for 24 hours. Some bacteria are Staphylococcus species. Scary and thin looking ones I have no idea what they are. I am ready for digital currency.’
Although staphylococcus bacteria are often harmless, they can cause pneumonia, heart problems, and in severe cases, bone infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections can be especially dangerous in healthcare settings.
Public toilet seats, drinks machines and even phone screens have been germ-tested by Amani in his TikTok videos.
As part of bacterial testing, sterile cotton buds and inoculating needles are often used to take swabs from specimens.
They are gently smeared on agar jelly before growth in an incubator for 24-hour and 48-hour periods.
Speaking to MailOnline, Amani said: ‘We get a lot of culture plates. Wounds, urine cultures, sinuses, things like that. We get the plates, we have to bake them for about 24 hours before the bacteria grow. We see them again 48 hours later.
‘There are harmful bacteria everywhere – even on our own skin. It’s just that if it ends up in the wrong place, it can be pathogenic.
‘If you wash your hands, it solves a lot of people’s problems.’
Like staphylococcus, many germs found in everyday objects are mostly harmless, but Amani hopes to promote hand washing and general hygiene as a way to ward off more dangerous pathogens.
He continued: ‘We all know there’s bacteria in money but I thought people wanted to see what it looked like. It’s normal stuff – nothing to worry about.
‘There was E.coli on the toilet seat but nothing to panic about.’ E.Coli is pretty much everywhere and that’s why you need to wash your hands. I can’t stress this enough because if you accidentally inject it, you can get sick from it.
‘The water fountain wasn’t actually bad – it was normal skin bacteria. It will not be harmful. But I’ve heard from people that they’ve had mold grow on fountains in places they’ve worked on, which can be bad.
‘That’s why I want to put these videos out there. So people can be aware that if they see something dirty, they think “Maybe I should tell someone so they can clean it up”. Or don’t drink from it.’
Identifying bacteria can sometimes come down to their smell, Amani says, with some smelling like popcorn and others smelling like feces.
He said: ‘Some microbiology plates smell good, some smell bad. There is one called Pseudomonas aeruginosa that smells like grapes. Proteus mirabilis smells like chocolate pudding.
‘Streptococcus viridan smells like buttered popcorn. But some of them smell awful like E. coli! Different organisms have a sense of smell and this helps them identify them.’
P. aeruginosa is a pathogen that is sometimes associated with contaminated water and can cause pneumonia, cough and many other symptoms in people with weakened immune systems.
Taking your phone with you to the toilet was blamed for some of the germs found on the screen
Catching chocolate-flavored Proteus mirabilis can cause vomiting and pain when urinating, while popcorn-flavored Streptococcus viridans is likely to cause heart disease.
He added: ‘It’s attractive to people because a lot of people don’t know what it actually looks like. It just shows people what it looks like on the plate as it grows – the different types of bacteria.’
Amani’s tests follow a recent study that found bacteria from both human and cockroach feces on numerous smartphone screens.
In a study of 10 phones, 100 percent of smartphone screens contained E. coli and pneumonia-causing S. aureus found.
Sarah McConomie, COO of CellCell, which conducted the research, previously said: ‘We were interested in finding out how common harmful bacteria are on our mobile phone screens and which types of bacteria are most common.
‘The results were truly shocking, with many types of bacteria emerging from human faeces, which really highlights the need for people to thoroughly clean and sanitize their cell phones.
‘What was probably most disturbing to see was P. aeruginosa, a bacteria that comes directly from cockroaches and their excrement.
‘It’s really uncomfortable to think of cockroaches crawling into our phones and even using them as a bathroom when we’re not looking!’
Give your phone a spring clean with seven essential maintenance steps, experts reveal
While over 93% of British households do a major spring-clean every year, our smartphones often neglect the care they need.
To ensure your electronics are clean and in top condition, Mobiles.co.uk’s mobile expert Amrit Chatha outlines the basics to ensure you can give your mobile device a thorough spring clean.
1. Shine the screen: Amrit explains: ‘Alcohol wipes are the safest option for cleaning the exterior of your handset. Mild soap can also be used with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the screen, but make sure to dip the cloth in the product rather than spraying any cleaning solution directly onto the screen.
‘When cleaning your screen with any product, avoid open areas like the charging port as they will be damaged by liquid. Once cleaned, leave to air dry.’
2. Dig into the charging ports: ‘Charging ports often collect dust and debris that can make it difficult to charge your phone. It is important to avoid using any liquid, metal or sharp objects while cleaning the charging port as it can damage the internal hardware.
‘Instead, use a soft, dry object such as a cotton bud, paper towel or toothpick to remove any built-up debris.
3. Clean the camera: ‘The camera is a delicate part of the phone so it deserves special care, but like the rest of the phone it can get dirty and affect the quality of your photos. For this, you can use a soft camera brush to remove dust from the lens and avoid scratches.
‘If your camera is particularly dirty it’s safe to use a lens wipe, followed by a microfiber cloth to remove any remaining stains.’
4. Don’t overdo the protective case: ‘Phone cases are the easiest step in the cleaning process because you don’t have to worry about any electronic damage. Most phone cases can be cleaned with a wipe or soapy water and left to air dry. Use a small brush such as a toothbrush to get into the corners and remove any built-up dirt.
‘Make sure you don’t put the phone case back on the phone until it’s bone dry, so no water gets into the handset’s opening.’