The Boston Subway Microbiome

Curtis Huttenhower interviews remotely with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as part of a stream of press leading up to the publication of his lab’s new paper profiling microbial communities on the Boston subway system.

Urban subways are distinct microbial environments with high occupant densities, diversities, and turnovers, and are thus especially relevant to public health.  In their new paper out tomorrow, members of the Huttenhower lab detail what is the first high-precision microbial survey of a variety of surfaces, ridership environments, and microbiological functions in a mass transit environment. The goal is to understand how human contact, materials, and the environment affect microbial profiles and how this may eventually lead to more rationally designed public spaces to sustain our health in the presence of microbial reservoirs.

Stay tuned next week for more details on their findings in this fascinating study.