Valentine’s Day is all about sharing things with the one you love. But we can all agree that there are things that you probably shouldn’t share. Like gonorrhea, for example. You can go ahead and keep that one to yourself, sport.
But even when humans aren’t grossly sharing gross STDs with one another — which is gross — they may be sharing more than they know with their diseases. Scientists at Northwestern have discovered a fragment of human DNA in the genome of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterial blip behind gonorrhea. This marks the first recorded instance of what some thought (OK, hoped) impossible – a direct transfer of human DNA to a bacterial genome.
Kudos to the team at Northwestern, who had not only the patience and skill to isolate human DNA in the least likely of places, but the sense of humor required to start publicizing the story on Valentine’s Day, reminding the single among us once again that other people are basically plague ships, anyway. Plague ships captained by microscopic bacteria who steal our DNA.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!