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Fifty Shades of Grey goes viral – literally

Release time:2020-05-09 18:08:00    

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Library copies of the bestselling sadomasochistic romance were found to carry traces of herpes and cocaine

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Library copies of Fifty Shades of Grey have reported positive for traces of herpes virus and cocaine, according to two Belgian professors.

A second novel, Tango – a romance by Pieter Aspe – also tested positive for herpes, after tests were run on the most popular books on the shelves of Antwerp library.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, who ran chemical tests on the 10 most-borrowed books at the library. All 10 tested positive for traces of cocaine.

Jan Tytgat, a professor of toxicology at the Catholic University of Leuven, told website the Flanders News that the traces both of herpes and of cocaine were too small to be harmful to future readers of the book.

"The levels found won't have a pharmacological effect. Your consciousness or behaviour won't change as a result of reading the tomes," Tytfat said.

It is isn't the first time academics have tested the hygiene of books. Students at Brigram Young University, Utah, found that books categorised by their university library as in high demand averaged 25-40% more microbial life than neglected volumes .

The research team counted the number of colony-forming units – little spots of bacterial growth – that developed in agar dishes containing samples from the library books. "We just counted them all up … 'one, two, three, OK, there are 16 spots … ew, gross,'" said team member Joshua Nicholson.

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