Scientists Swabbed New York City’s Subways, And You Won’t Believe What They Found

Mozzarella. Bubonic plague. Kimchi. Staph. What could these things possibly have in common?

They’re all among the strange set of substances DNA-hunting scientists identified in New York City’s subway cars and stations as part of a comprehensive new study.

The researchers behind the so-called “PathoMap” project found DNA from more than 500 species of bacteria, including some from foods as well as 67 known to cause illness.

If that sounds scary, relax. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs the city’s subways, told The Huffington Post that there was no threat to human health–and the study’s lead author agreed.

(Story continues below.)

Researchers identified 562 species of bacteria in NYC’s 466 subway stations:

— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 6, 2015

“Despite finding traces of pathogenic microbes, their presence isn’t substantial enough to pose a threat to human health,” Dr. Christopher Mason, assistant professor of computational genomics at Weill Cornell Medical College, said in a written statement. “The presence of these microbes and the lack of reported medical cases is truly a testament to our body’s immune system, and our innate ability to continuously adapt to our environment.”

The research is part of a —> Read More Here


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