Don't you just love New York City subways, what with their bedbugs and standards of cleanliness (or lack thereof)? If your answer to that question is no, you might want to brace yourself before reading the next sentence. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College on the Upper East Side have discovered bacteria on our dear metro system that do not match any known organisms in existence today. And if that isn't scary enough, a mere 0.2 percent of that bacteria matches that of a human genome.
Called PathoMap, the new study created a detailed map of the DNA found in New York’s subway system. The 17-month long research project dispatched a team of grad students, medical students, and volunteers (who were bold enough to collect DNA with nylon swabs) to collect samples from seats, poles, doors, turnstiles and benches. Also and interesting finding through this study is the difference in DNA findings based on borough. The Bronx, for instance, had the most diversity of microbial species, followed by Brooklyn, then Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. On the darker side of things, scientist did find anthrax particles along with two other samples associated with the bubonic plague. Luckily, those findings were not live and are said to reflect many past cases of the bacteria in livestock in the New York area.
Scientists claim we shouldn't worry too much about these totally horrifying results, since most bacteria found on our public transit system is totally harmless. But really, how many of you will view the subway the same now? Yeah, we thought so. You're welcome.