U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Just Science Podcast: Episode 55: 2018 R&D: Just Skin Microbiomes As Evidence

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2018
2 pages

This third episode of the 2018 R&D Season of the Just Science podcast series presents an interview with Dr. David Carter, Director and Associate Professor of Forensic Science at Chaminade University of Honolulu, who discusses his research, entitled "Evaluating the Skin Microbiome as Trace Evidence on Common Surface Types."


The interview focuses on Dr. Carter's research on the transfer of palm-skin microbiome to various types of surfaces. He explains that microbiome types are distinctive to individuals because of the differing conditions that various microbiome need to survive, such as the person's use of medicine, the environment in which the person lives, and other distinctive features of a person's body and environment that determine which microbiome will survive over time. Research findings discussed include changes in microbiome on a person's body before and after death and how long microbiome on a living person's skin remain the same after death. Other issues discussed are differences in the amount of skin microbiome left on different surface types and differences among people in amounts of microbiome they leave when touching various surfaces.

Date Published: August 1, 2018