New York Subway Full of Microbes

New York Subway Full of MicrobesNew York Subway Full of Microbes

Nearly five million commuters in New York are moving with hundreds of uninvited guests in the subway system that are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

The tiny, unseen organisms are lurking in train stations, according to a team of scientists which collected cotton-swab samples from metro card kiosks, benches, emergency exits, turnstiles, hand rails and trash cans in all the 468 stations that constitute the sprawling subway system in New York City. This subway system provides 1.7 billion rides every year to New Yorkers.

The researchers came across some of the unusual findings, ranging from traces of pathogens such as anthrax and plague to marine microbes believed to be native to Antarctica, and bacteria from mozzarella cheese, reports

The strange findings may leave many New Yorkers unnerved when they will come to know that they are riding among hundreds of miniscule species.

 No Concern

Even though the study has brought a strange revelation about the strange species, the scientists claimed that there’s no need to worry or start taking precautionary measure such as wearing gloves.

The report showed that most of the 637 known DNA samples of bacteria, fungus, virus and animals collected by the scientists belong to the organisms that don’t cause any disease and are found lying on the body of humans anyway.

Christopher Mason, an assistant professor at New York-based Weill Cornell Medical College, said in a statement, “Our data show evidence that most bacteria in these densely populated, highly trafficked transit areas are neutral to human health, and much of it is commonly found on the skin or in the gastrointestinal tract.

These bacteria may even be helpful, since they can out-compete any dangerous bacteria.”

These bacteria are instead likely just the co-habitants of any shared urban infrastructure and city, but wider testing is needed to determine how common this is in other cities.

Despite finding traces of pathogenic microbes, their presence isn’t substantial enough to pose a threat to human health,” Mason said. The findings of the study were detailed this week in the journal Cell Systems.