Why Researchers Collected DNA from the Subway Today

The key ingredient to the next life-saving drug could come from the subway.

Researchers from Weill Cornell collected swabs of germs, cells, and DNA off surfaces at the 2nd Avenue-72nd Street station on Wednesday.

They said the new data could be used in future medications, and added that straphangers should not worry about getting sick.

"A lot of people are afraid to touch the subway poles, but we've demonstrated that the vast majority of all the organisms are very, very healthy and won't affect your heath at all," said Christopher Mason, a professor at Weill Cornell Medicine. "So you should only really wash your hands if there's something you see that seems really unusual or maybe feels strange.

"But otherwise, all the organisms effectively represent healthy microbiomes, so you shouldn't have to worry about getting sick just by grabbing a pole," Mason continued.

Researchers said the data from the sampling will be released over the next several months.

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