If dust could talk, it would tell you how many women versus men live in your home

careful with those dust bunnies they can tell the gender split in your home homestyler 15
Forget about what secrets walls would divulge if they could talk. Instead, be more wary of your dust. That’s right, according to a new study published recently in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, your average household dust bunny tells a shockingly accurate story about your family and the inhabitants of your home — specifically, the gender makeup and presence of pets in the house.

As study author Noah Fierer, a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told the New York Times, “Our homes are ecosystems that we spend a lot of time in, and so we approached this with a very general question. What type of microbes and fungi do we see in our homes?” As it turns out, the answer is heavily contingent on who is actually in your home.

In conducting their study, Fierer and the team analyzed the dust of 1,200 households across the continental United States. All in all, they found a total of more than 72,000 types of fungi and over 125,000 kinds of bacteria. Yikes. Moreover, the average household (just one household, mind you), boasted more than 5,000 different species of bacteria and around 2,000 species of fungi. So as clean as you may believe yourself and your rooms to be, think again. These buggers are everywhere.

As it turns out, while geographic location doesn’t have too much of an impact on what types of bacteria flourish in a house (the same types were found in both rural homes and urban homes far distant from each other), fungi serve as a better indicator. Said Fierer, “Geography is the best predictor of fungi in your home. The reason is that most fungi blow in from outdoors via soil and leaves.”

But bacteria constitute an extremely useful yardstick for the types of pets you have, and even the number of men versus women living in a house. Homes with cats had more types of certain bacteria species, while homes with dogs favored others. And when it came to gender ratios, it’s all about the B.O. Yes — body odor.

Said NC State biology professor and study co-author Rob Dunn, “We can tell if there are more men than women in a home, for example, because those homes have more armpit bacteria. Seriously.”

Ultimately, researchers feel that this dust-based profile of a home is just a first step in a much more robust final project that may one day help with forensics or allergen research. Said Dunn, “We’re just starting to look at what lives in our homes. These findings are not an exhaustive answer, they’re a first step — and the study highlights just how much we don’t know.”

Emerging Tech

From electron microscopes to X-rays, high-tech tools expose low-tech art forgery

At the Indianapolis Museum of Art, conservation scientist Greg Smith and Glennis Rayermann, then a Ph.D student, used high-tech equipment to determine if a painting was made by master forger Icilio Federico Joni.
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky-smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.

Save $130 on the Shark Navigator vacuum from Amazon

Picking an affordable vacuum for your home isn’t easy, and while there are many types to choose from, they shouldn’t cost you a small fortune. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro vacuum cleaner is on sale on Amazon today only.
Product Review

We never wanted a smart doorbell, until we met Nest Hello

You can answer your door while sitting on the couch with the Nest Hello smart doorbell, which brings vision, intelligence and convenience to your doorstep.

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.

NYPD pulls thousands of body cams after one explodes

The NYPD has recalled thousands of body cameras after one of them exploded during an officer's shift on Sunday, October 21. No one was injured in the incident, which is thought to have been caused by the device's battery.
Emerging Tech

There’s finally a way to trace ‘untraceable’ 3D printed guns

To help track 3D-printed guns, researchers have developed a new algorithm which is able to identify which 3D printer was used to print an object, based on its unique fingerprint. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

These solar-powered water purifiers can produce 30,000 gallons of water per day

Problems with contaminated water? Quench Water & Solar's water purifiers can purify up to 30,000 gallons of fresh water per day and it's offering the technology to whoever wants it.
Smart Home

Silo A.I. vacuum storage system tells you when your leftovers are going bad

"Alexa, is the chicken still OK to eat?" Newly launched on Kickstarter, Silo is a neat vacuum storage container that will extend your food's shelf life -- and add in a useful dose of A.I., too.
Emerging Tech

Watch the moment NASA releases 450,000 gallons of water onto a launch pad

NASA's next-generation rocket will be one of the most powerful ever made and at launch will generate a colossal amount of heat and noise. Here's what it's going to do to control all that energy ...
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to give free rides in first Boring Company tunnel in December

Members of the public will soon get to find out if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at reducing traffic congestion or little more than a fancy theme park ride, with free rides being offered from December.
Emerging Tech

World’s first drone-equipped motorcycle features a special space for the Spark

If your sidecar is missing a drone or your drone a sidecar, then check out how the two machines have been brought together in this unique design from Ural Motorcycles. Only 40 have been made, though that may turn out to be enough.
Product Review

North’s Focals aim to keep you ‘heads-up’ with smartglasses

North, formerly known as Thalmic Labs, has unveiled a new product alongside the brand-name change. Focals is a pair of smartglasses, like Google Glass, that attempts to help keep you heads-up.
Emerging Tech

Meet the $1.5m Xprize winner that makes artificial clouds in shipping containers

Could the solution to a lack of clean drinking water be an artificial cloud inside a shipping container? It sounds crazy, but it just won the prestigious $1.5 million Water Abundance XPrize.