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Think twice before shaking hands with a man – Professor Adam Hart launches ‘The Life of Poo’

University of Gloucestershire Professor of Science Communication, Adam Hart, has written a book about poo and the hidden world of bacteria.

The Life of Poo (or why you should think twice about shaking hands – especially with men) will be available from 8 October and can pre-ordered now.

In this light-hearted popular science book, Professor Adam Hart explains how bacteria play a central part in our lives, both good and bad. Bad can cause illness and death, but good can help us digest our food and educate our immune systems.

With gut-related diseases affecting a significant proportion of the population (1 in 5 people in the UK will be affected at some stage in their life), the great British public are starting to realise just how important their inner-world of bacteria really is.

The book takes the reader on a humorous and myth-busting journey from the poo in your toilet to the cutting-edge of scientific understanding, via the latest research in gut health, asthma, disease, contamination, hygiene and the effective but unpleasant practice of faecal microbiota transplant. Adam’s book includes some surprising revelations:

• A study says only 61% of women and 37% of men wash hands after the loo
• You should always scrub your hands for 15 seconds with soap to kill bugs

Adam Hart, Professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “I hope that readers will find The Life of Poo humorous and light in tone, but it is packed with the very latest science. Whether you are brushing your teeth, having sex, suffering from an irritable bowel, battling with Crohn’s disease, worrying about too little or too much hygiene, coping with asthma, cleaning your bathroom, following the 2-second rule, debating the 5-second rule, guzzling probiotics or just sitting on the toilet, this book is likely to be of interest to you.”

The book is illustrated with original cartoons and split into chapters such as ‘Kills 99% of Known Germs’, which covers everything you never wanted to know about the state of your toilet. Why It’s Good to Stay in Touch with ‘Old Friends’ considers the rise of allergies and embraces the startling fact that gut bacteria might be affecting our mental health, and finally, learn exactly why you should think twice before shaking hands with a man in the chapter succinctly titled Why You Should Think Twice About Shaking Hands (Especially with Men).

The Life of Poo by Professor Adam Hart is published by Kyle Books and will be available on October 8 at £12.99. To order a copy for £10.39 (until September 29), visit or call 0808 272 0808.