New interactive map shows the germs at your local NYC subway stop! Fun… and scary!! #science

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Check out this awesome interactive map of the bacteria in New York City’s subway system (from the Wall Street Journal)!! The map is one of the results of a huge project looking at bacteria and other germs and microbiology in the City’s transit system! Above I took a screenshot of the map for the subway station next to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital at 168th St, including 108 bacteria that can cause all sorts of problems – including antibiotic resistant bacteria! This is a super fun tool…. unless you’re a germaphobe, in which case it is horrifying  :/

Every day, New York City’s 5.5 million commuters seed the city subways with bacteria from the food they eat, the pets or plants they keep, and their shoes, sneezes and unwashed hands.

For the first time, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College sampled DNA in New York City’s 466 open subway stations. They found genetic material from 15,152 different species, most of them harmless or unidentified. Almost half the DNA belonged to bacteria. No two subway stations were exactly the same, and the research continues.

So far, the scientists have identified 67 bacteria species associated with disease and infections. Here are details on a few of the bacteria found.

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Ready for flu season?? Influenza is widespread in most of the US -reports @CDCgov @CDCflu

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that influenza is now widespread in 36 states. (gif credit – CauseScience, using map images from CDC FLUVIEW).

A mutated strain of the flu has caused the virus to spread to epidemic proportions, the CDC said in a new alert.

Thirty-six states — most in the Midwest — are experiencing flu cases at widespread rates, according to the latest data from the governmental body. Just a handful, like California, Alaska and Hawaii, had local or sporadic flu activity.

Weekly reports on influenza are available at the CDC website, and also using FLUVIEW – the CDC’s interactive tool. More in-depth information about this years influenza outbreak can be found here.flu;Also, don’t forget to get your flu vaccine if you haven’t already!!!

[tweet https://twitter.com/CDCFlu/status/549969131689476096]

How many grants and jobs does your state get from NIH funding? Check out this awesome interactive map from @UMR4NIH

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Check out this awesome interactive state-by-state map of NIH funding and its impact from United for Medical Research. When you click on each state you will get the amount of NIH funding and the number of jobs this funding supports. It also includes a list of the top NIH funded institutions and the leading causes of death by disease! The announcing press release states that the interactive map will be a resource for the public, lawmakers, and media… but I’m a scientist and I think it is super useful!

United For Medical Research, a coalition of leading research institutions, patient and health advocates, and private industry, today launched a user-friendly map spotlighting the state-level impact of federal research funds provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH awards support more than 400,000 jobs nationwide, funding the nation’s leading research institutions and spurring investments and research by the biopharmaceutical industry.

Killer Asteroid Project: Find out what an asteroid impact near you would destroy! #science

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Following Earth’s close encounter with an Asteroid on Sunday, the Daily Mail reports on the Killer Asteroid Project, which is in part funded by NSF and NASA. The highlight of the project is a interactive interface using Google Earth to show you the radius of damage caused by different sized comets anywhere in the world. It also breaks up the radius into different levels of damage, from ‘first degree burns’ and ‘clothing ignites’ to ‘knocks over steel buildings’. Check out the interface here.

Drop a Rock on Someone

This piece uses Google Earth along with an impact effects calculator to show you the damage that would be caused by different sized asteroids and comets. You can pick a city, enter an address, or just let it hit somewhere at random.