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Tracking Microbes On The NYC Subway06:09
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If you took public transit today, there's a very good chance you came in contact with a lot of bacteria. If you're in New York City, that includes the germ that causes the bubonic plague and other microbes that digest toxic waste.

Researchers spent 18 months swabbing hand rails and ticket kiosks to see what microbes are riding the subway with New Yorkers. Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd speaks with lead researcher Christopher Mason of the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Infographic showing the relative amount of DNA found in the New York subway system from bacteria associated with the human body (click to enlarge). (Weill Cornell Medical College )
Infographic showing the relative amount of DNA found in the New York subway system from bacteria associated with the human body (click to enlarge). (Weill Cornell Medical College )
Heatmap of the Pseudomonas genus, the most abundant genus found across the city. Hotspots are found in areas of high station density and traffic (i.e. lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn). (Credit: Ebrahim Afshinnekoo)
Heatmap of the Pseudomonas genus, the most abundant genus found across the city. Hotspots are found in areas of high station density and traffic (i.e. lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn). (Credit: Ebrahim Afshinnekoo)

Guest

  • Christopher Mason, Ph.D., assistant professor in Weill Cornell's Department of Physiology and Biophysics and in the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Institute for Computational Biomedicine.

This segment aired on February 6, 2015.

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