Creating a 3D microbial and chemical snapshot of a human habitat /631/1647/2196 /704/844/1759 /140 /45 /45/23 article

Clifford A. Kapono, James T. Morton, Amina Bouslimani, Alexey V. Melnik, Kayla Orlinsky, Tal Luzzatto Knaan, Neha Garg, Yoshiki Vázquez-Baeza, Ivan Protsyuk, Stefan Janssen, Qiyun Zhu, Theodore Alexandrov, Larry Smarr, Rob Knight, Pieter C. Dorrestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the goals of forensic science is to identify individuals and their lifestyle by analyzing the trace signatures left behind in built environments. Here, microbiome and metabolomic methods were used to see how its occupants used an office and to also gain insights into the lifestyle characteristics such as diet, medications, and personal care products of the occupants. 3D molecular cartography, a molecular visualization technology, was used in combination with mass spectrometry and microbial inventories to highlight human-environmental interactions. Molecular signatures were correlated with the individuals as well as their interactions with this indoor environment. There are person-specific chemical and microbial signatures associated with this environment that directly relate who had touched objects such as computers, computer mice, cell phones, desk phone, table or desks. By combining molecular and microbial investigation forensic strategies, this study offers novel insights to investigators who value the reconstructing of human lifestyle and characterization of human environmental interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3669
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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