Microbiome Awareness Month – TP: Under or Over?

This can be a reflective time of year for many of us as we take stock of the past year. In your deep reflective moments, have you considered that the way you use toilet paper is such a personal choice that scientists can identify who was in the loo based on which way the paper rolls?

Scientists at Japan’s Kobe University did research into a “personal identification system based on rotation of toilet rolls.” Essentially, they studied how to detect the identity of a toilet user by the way they pull the paper. Their study design allowed them to record what they termed “multiple pulling actions,” when someone “pulls, tears, and uses” several times between entering and exiting the stall.

The study began with known participants using the bathroom with specially rigged toilet paper rolls. Then, after the system had been trained to identify “signature styles,” a second stage aimed to accurately identify who was who, without the benefit of other forms of identification.

Among a five person group in a research setting, they managed a creditable 83.9% level of accuracy. There was apparently no significant difference in pulling action between men and women.

As you reflect on what you have accomplished this year and generally take stock of your life, don’t forget that you are unique and one-of-a-kind, all the way down to how you use TP.

For more on this topic, read our classic blog post.

If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.