International Metagenomics Project Representative? I Volunteer As Tribute!

One afternoon while making my way through another DNA extraction, I was eavesdropping over the lab benches, per usual, trying to keep my mind occupied.  I overheard my project manager and another undergraduate discussing an unusual project.  “Do you want to contact the Sacramento authorities to get clearance to swab the light rail, because talking …

Taxonomic Forensics in Metagenomics with In Silico Marker Panels

Introduction In 2013-2014, a metagenomics project called “Pathomap” collected 1,457 swab samples from the surfaces of all active subway stations throughout New York City (NYC), as well as samples from the Gowanus Canal and several parks. Each sample was sequenced to an average depth of 3.6 million reads (paired-end 125 nucleotides), generating a city-wide metagenomic …

Harvard Magazine covers Sloan grantee Curtis Huttenhower’s research: microbes in transportation systems

In November, 2012, Curtis Huttenhower began work (with funding from the Sloan Foundation) to examine the transmission of human-associated microbes by public transportation surfaces. An article on “Big Data” in the current issue of Harvard Magazine includes a description of Huttenhower’s work in the lead article “Why “Big Data” Is a Big Deal.” After very …