March 18, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, Secret Science Club presents Geneticist Christopher Mason on the Urban Microbiome @ the Bell House, FREE!

Teeny-Tiny New Yorkers! Christopher Mason led a team that swabbed New York City's subway stations and trains to uncover the microbes among us. The subway samples (from turnstiles, poles, seats, ticket machines, and more) were sequenced for DNA, revealing 637 known species of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and microscopic animals. There were even some fragments of anthrax and bubonic plague. Eek! No worries though, those anthrax and plague bits weren't live, and most of the city's microscopic citizens are benign or even beneficial. Dr. Mason and his crew are using the data to create baseline PathoMaps of the Big Microbial Apple. The PathoMaps of NYC and other cities could be used for "long-term disease surveillance, bioterrorism threat mitigation, and large-scale health management." 

Get to know your microscopic neighbors and fellow travelers!

Before & After
--Sway to teeny-tiny grooves
--Imbibe our cocktail of the night, the Third Rail
--Stick around for the itty-bitty Q&A

Christopher Mason is assistant professor of physiology & biophysics and computational biomedicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. In 2014, he was named one of Popular Science's Brilliant Ten, and he and his research have recently been featured in
Wired, the New York Times, NPR, and the PBS NewsHour. Next up? Dr. Mason is working on a project for NASA, comparing the DNA and RNA of astronauts (and twin brothers) Scott and Mark Kelly--after Scott spends a year in space.

This edition of the Secret Science Club meets Tuesday, March 24, 8 pm @ the Bell House149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave, R to 9th St.

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self!

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