NYC Subway: Half of DNA found is from unknown organisms

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by rh, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    If you've ever felt that public transportation systems were just one big Petri dish, well, you're right. A recent study shows that almost half of the DNA found on surfaces in the NYC subway system are from unknown organisms.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/06/n...a-study-finds-many-mystery-microbes.html?_r=0

    http://www.cell.com/pb/assets/raw/journals/research/cell-systems/do-not-delete/CELS1_FINAL.pdf

    Possibly a coincidence, but I saw these guys at the Starbucks right outside the N and R line entrance this morning...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Seth L

    Seth L Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a primordial ooze.
     
  3. navin johnson

    navin johnson Member

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    i would think virus' would be an evolutionist nitemare
     
  4. micycle

    micycle Member

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    When I first moved here (NYC) I rode the train to work for the first 2 years and got sick a LOT. Then I got a job within biking distance and got sick 1-2 times a year if that. I think at worst I had a sniffly nose once in 2014. Earlier this month when crappy weather intervened with my cycling commute I had to take the train for over a week and guess what? I got sick. Subways are grody germ incubators. This morning when my Q train arrived all cars were packed per usual except for 1 which was mostly empty. That's always a bad sign but I took a chance - the car smelled like dried wiz, I had to get out on the next stop and move to a different car before I gagged. Hopefully being that I was just sick my immune system is doing its job..

    I read the deal with the rats here is over the years they've mutated into super-rats from being exposed to everything. Hopefully that's the case with us humans, too!
     
  5. Jiffy_Jeff

    Jiffy_Jeff Playin Tunes and Having Fun! Silver Supporting Member

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    I think we need to get a hold of Dr. Venkman.
     
  6. aynirar27

    aynirar27 All You Need Is Rock and Roll Gold Supporting Member

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    ninja turtles
    secret of the ooze
     
  7. drewl

    drewl Member

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    What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
     
  8. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    ^^^ in principle, maybe. :)
     
  9. -alex

    -alex Silver Supporting Member

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    Don't be a jerk (assuming you are, or at least a Steve Martin fan) .

    If you actually thought about it, viral evolution is a very cool field of study.
     
  10. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    You know what I found even more interesting while reading through the article? We leave a trace no matter where we go and what we do. It may just be a matter of time until a unit shows up at a crime scene, swabs about here and there, sends them off to a lab, and a few days later out pops a list of likely suspects.

    I also didn't realize that bacteria cells outnumber out own cells 10:1. I don't think I ever would have guessed that...not in a million years.
     
  11. -alex

    -alex Silver Supporting Member

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    The bacterial cell count size makes sense, mitochondria were originally eukaryotic cell parasites or at least endosymbiotes. The mitochondrial/cell count varies from 0 to 1000s, and they are about the size of bacteria.


     
  12. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    I use to ride the NYC subways regularly and it always felt like I was in a giant petri dish as part of some alien lab experiment.
     
  13. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    It's a huge amount, though.

    Over a 1/3 of stuff in our blood that actually does something is bacteria. I find that stunning.
     
  15. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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    I feel gross and filthy.
     
  16. -alex

    -alex Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree - it is stunning.


    I didn't look at the full Hood 2012 reference - what does 36% of the active molecules mean? The abstract says: As one example, the human gut micro biome contributes 36% of the small molecules that are found in human blood, and it also plays a major role in creating susceptibility to certain human diseases. I think the 36% might mean sugars and maybe peptides and minerals, but I'd have to read the reference.

     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  17. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    I'd be interested in knowing if you happen to look it up. I assumed that they simply excluded molecules such as water.
     
  18. -alex

    -alex Silver Supporting Member

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    Here is a summary that isn't behind a pay wall.

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/177/3/197.full

     
  19. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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  20. -alex

    -alex Silver Supporting Member

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    I prefer to imagine myself as a fine fermenting machine.

     

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