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Global City Sampling Day
In June, Lynn Schriml, PhD, Associate Professor, Epidemiology & Public Health, and Emmanuel Mongodin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Immunology, and their lab teams, led a Global City Sampling Day (GCSD) in Baltimore. Mayor Catherine Pugh participated as a citizen scientist, swabbing samples at the Charles Center Metro Station. The mission of GCSD is to collect samples from mass-transit systems to understand the movement of microbes across transportation systems and is part of the MetaSUB consortium project.
BACKGROUND: This year’s project builds on the MetaSUB consortium’s 2016 effort, where 54 cities across six continents and thirty-two countries collected DNA samples from subway cars (poles, seats, floors) and subway station (turnstiles, ticket machines, railings) surfaces, as these represent high traffic areas often touched by subway riders which provides insights to the movement of microbes around cities. The group’s previous studies have shown that microbes in subway cars represent a stable community of organisms (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) that shifts slightly with the movement of riders, varies across difference surfaces (plastic vs. fabric) and is most similar to microbes found in the soil of local parks.
The mission of GCSD is to collect samples from mass-transit systems to understand the movement of microbes across transportation systems and is part of the MetaSUB consortium project.
The MetaSUB (Metagenomics and Metadesign of Subways and Urban Biomes) is supported by leaders in public health such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH and the World Quant Foundation.