Just how spooky this could turn out to be depends on who you want to believe, I reckon. Is it really a mystery involving an unknown DNA sample? Could it all be just an innocent mistake or something so simple? Chances are we will never know the whole story. Somehow things like this end up getting lost or misfiled, ya know? Happens a lot with some government reports, from what I understand.
New York Subway’s Mysterious DNA
In 2014, a team of scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College sequenced genetic material found in the turnstiles, seats, and ticket booths of all 468 New York City subway stations. They discovered bacteria known to thrive on human skin, as well as those associated with gastrointestinal and urogenital systems and human feces. They discovered remnants of neighborhood-specific cuisine like pizza and falafels, though considering the fecal bacteria situation, eating on the subway might be ill-advised. One station that had been flooded during Hurricane Sandy still contained DNA associated with a marine environment. They even found traces of anthrax and the bubonic plague, although they were also quick to downplay any risks to the public. All in all, the team found DNA from 15,152 distinct species.
The weird part? Over half of the DNA sequences matched no known organism. The likely explanation is that the subways simply contain mundane microorganisms that we haven’t got around to matching the genetic sequences for yet. Then again, New York’s health department condemned the paper, saying, “This report is deeply flawed, and the interpretation of the results is misleading. The researchers failed to offer alternative, much more plausible explanations for their findings, which is a common best practice for scientific papers.” That sounds like they might be hiding aliens.
All I can say about this is that I'm glad that I don't live in New York and that I'm equally as glad that I don't have to ride the subway everyday. I don't want to know what is living down in those tunnels, if you know what I mean?
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Sweet potato pie, anyone?