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Biomedicine in museums

Beware of the digital museum — keyboards harbour harmful bacteria

Now and then I’m hunting for arguments against the digital museum in order to make a case for the nicely old-fashioned embodied physical museum instead. This morning’s on-line issue of The Guardian made my day: computer keyboards harbour myriads of nasty bacteria. According to the article (which is taken from today’s issue of Which?, the on-line consumer product review magazíne), a microbiologist who swabbed keyboards in a typical London office for bacteria (plus toilet seats and door handles for comparison) ended up removing one of the office’s keyboards because it was five times dirtier than a typical lavatory seat and contained 150 times the acceptable limit of bacteria. Well, this study doesn’t look like a serious epidemiological survey — but in my accumulation of arguments against the digital museum, any anecdotal evidence will do.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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