Horatio Caine, shake hands with a new clue.

In a study that will surely spawn a story line for the smugly cool CSI Miami character played by David Caruso, American scientists have discovered that our hands are smeared with signature colonies of germs that are unique to each individual.

When people touch any surface, they can lay down a load of these germs that might be traced back, through DNA analysis of the bugs, to their original owner.

“We’re coated in bacteria, and it’s unavoidable,” says Noah Fierer, a bacteriologist at University of Colorado at Boulder and lead study author. “And potentially, this could be another tool in the (crime scene) tool kit.”

The bacteria can also live comfortably on surfaces they’ve been transferred to for about two weeks, giving police ample time to collect them after a crime.

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