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A nice firm handshake has long been a mark of good manners, but there’s a drawback: germs–a lot of them actually.But have no fear, the fist bump is here. You’ve seen it. From your friends in your neighborhood to the President of the United States, the fist bump has been all over and apparently it’s more hygienic.

Or at least, those were the findings of a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control that examined which of three common greetings — the handshake, fist bump and high five — is most likely to spread bacteria.

One brave scientist dipped a gloved hand into a jar of E.coli and then proceeded to greet a colleague — who was wearing a clean glove — with each of the three gestures. Then they measured how much bacteria was transferred.

Sounds gross, right? Well, the findings might be even worse.

The Healthy Handshake  was originally published on

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