Someone had to do it, and the Wall Street Journal took on the challenge. Here is a (not so) Fun Map of bacteria found at New York City’s 466 open subway stations, using data collected by Weill Cornell Medical College. The project took 18 months and genetic material was collected from 15,152 different species. According to WSJ, “most of them [are] harmless or unidentified,” and almost half belonged to bacteria. Of that, 67 species were “associated with disease and infections.” Fortunately, a lot of species are good bacteria, keeping the city livable by eating up toxins and hazardous chemicals.
At Bedford Street L there were remnants of bacteria associated with toxic cleanup, urinary tract-infection (nice…), kimchi and sauerkraut. Times Square. At Times Square, some of the same plus meningitis, staph infections, and Italian cheese. And we added Lincoln Center, since it’s the Untapped Cities HQ subway stop which has the nice addition of food poisoning, plus kimchi and sauerkraut as well. Apparently some of the food remnants track the city’s love of pizza, where the team identified microbes associated with cheese and sausage at many subway stations.
You can also search by bacteria. Here is Leuconostoc citreum associated with kimchi and bacteria: