Menu

Sealed With a Kiss

A single intimate smooch can transfer upwards of 80 million bacteria.

Nov 17, 2014
Bob Grant

WIKIMEDIA, ROBERT & MIHAELA VICOLLocking lips spreads more than just love. A healthy dose of microbes are also swapped between kissing couples, according to a study published today (November 17) in Microbe. Researchers in Amsterdam swabbed the mouths and collected saliva from 21 couples visiting a zoo in the city both before and after they shared 10-second kiss. They found that the couples tended to have similar microbes inhabiting their mouths, likely because they share kisses, food, and space on a regular basis. “Apparently, being with somebody for an extended amount of time and having a relationship leads to a similar collection of bacteria on the tongue,” Remco Kort, lead author and biologist at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, told Time.

But when the researchers had one partner sip a probiotic yogurt drink, which contains bacteria not normally present in the mouth, prior to kissing their mate again, they found that an average of 80 million bacteria were swapped between kissers. “French kissing is a great example of exposure to a gigantic number of bacteria in a short time,” Kort told BBC News. “But only some bacteria transferred from a kiss seemed to take hold on the tongue. Further research should look at the properties of the bacteria and the tongue that contribute to this sticking power.”

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.
Corning Introduces New 1536-well Spheroid Microplate
Corning Introduces New 1536-well Spheroid Microplate
High-throughput spheroid microplate benefits cancer research, drug screening