Investigadores de la Universidad de New York identificaron 3.000 microbios en el primer estudio exhaustivo de ADN aplicado al papel moneda en Estados Unidos. Pueden transmitir neumonía, úlceras gástricas y acné, entre otras.

Dolares bacteriasAdemás de bacterias, había virus, hongos, patógenos de plantas, rastros extremadamente diminutos de ántrax y difteria. Entre las bacterias encontradas figuran las famosas Staphylococcus aureus, Escherischia coli, Helicobacter pylori y Corynebactrium diptheriae.

Las especies descubiertas causan acné, úlceras gástricas, neumonía, intoxicación alimentaria e infecciones por estafilococo. Algunos de los genes hallados son responsables de la resistencia a los antibióticos.

A pesar de la cifra, aparentemente grande, del número de tipos de bacterias, los científicos lograron identificar solo un 20% del ADN no humano en los billetes de un dólar, porque muchos microorganismos no han sido catalogados en los bancos de datos genéticos.

«En realidad hemos encontrado que los microbios crecen en el dinero», dijo Jane Carlton, jefa del proyecto para secuenciar el genoma, citada por ‘The Wall Street Journal’.
Varios expertos en divisas recordaron a este diario que los bancos centrales del mundo por lo general se preocupan más por la falsificación y la durabilidad de su dinero, que por la microbiología.

Sin embargo, en varios países, como Canadá, Tailandia y Bután, se imprimen billetes en hojas de polímero plástico flexible. Allí los niveles de bacterias son normalmente menores en comparación con los presentes en los billetes elaborados a base de algodón o papel.

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