Navigation Links
The microbes you inhale on the New York City subway
Date:4/24/2013

The microbial population in the air of the New York City subway system is nearly identical to that of ambient air on the city streets. This research, published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, establishes an important baseline, should it become necessary to monitor the subway's air for dispersal of potentially dangerous microbes. Also, the combination of new methodologies in the study, including fast collection of aerosols and rapid sequencing technology, provide an efficient means for monitoring which was not previously available.

The results "are strong testimony for the efficiency of the train pumping system for ventilation," says principal investigator Norman R. Pace of the University of Colorado, Boulder. The wind one feels while walking across a subway grate as the subway clatters beneath also demonstrates just how effective that system is, he says. The only obvious differences in the subway's microbial population are the somewhat higher proportion of skin microbiota, and the doubled density of the fungal population, which Pace suggests may be due to rotting wood. "I was impressed by the similarity of [subway] and outdoor air," he says.

The researchers used a high tech mechanism to collect air at around 300 liters per minute (L/min), a big jump on the previous state of the art, which swallowed 12 L/min. That enabled collecting sufficient volume of aira couple of cubic metersto take the bacterial census within 20 minutes, instead of after "hours," says Pace. And analysis by sequencing is far faster and more thorough then using culture.

Pace notes that until now, the microbial content of subway air was unknown, and that the microbiology of indoor air is an emerging field of scientific inquiry. His research was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, through its Microbiology of the Built Environment program, which has made 64 grants totaling $28 million to date.

"While it is difficult to predict what will be discovered on the frontier of scientific inquiry, the opportunity exists to better understand these complex microbial ecosystems and how they affect health and the environment. We expect that someday this knowledge will influence design and construction practices and other industrial processes," says Paula Olsiewski, program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Measuring microbes makes wetland health monitoring more affordable, says MU researcher
2. Blood vessels sniff gut microbes to regulate blood pressure
3. The lifetime journeys of manure-based microbes
4. Microbes team up to boost plants stress tolerance
5. Gut microbes could determine the severity of melamine-induced kidney disease
6. Lack of energy an enemy to antibiotic-resistant microbes
7. FASEB SRC announces conference: Gastrointestinal Tract XV: Epithelia, Microbes, Inflammation & Cancer
8. Microbiologists eavesdrop on the hidden lives of microbes
9. They hunt, they kill, they cheat: Single-celled algae shed light on social lives of microbes
10. Even in same vineyard, different microbes may create variations in wine grapes
11. Not without my microbes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a ... prototype of a media edge server, the M820, which features the ... face recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased ... and at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today HYPR ... that the server component of the HYPR platform is ... providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users across ... manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Federal funding for basic and applied scientific research — ... and other vital technologies — deserves continued support, say leaders of SPIE, the ... today in responding to the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2018. , The ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... 2017 As Ebola resurfaces in the ... 20 suspected cases now reported, a new analysis of the ... a correlation between the 2014 and 2017 outbreaks of the ... in 2012-13, which preceded the 2014 outbreak. An analysis of ... Replikin counts in 2014-15, which again precedes the current outbreak ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Westminster, Colorado (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... amaranth as the most troublesome and difficult to control weed in 12 categories of ... found. , Almost 200 weed scientists across the U.S. and Canada participated in the ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... this month its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong presence at ... meeting’s Welcome Reception and further extends an invitation to all attendees to view ...
Breaking Biology Technology: