Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar and Richer Environments is kicking off its groundbreaking international study of antimicrobial resistance with an event called Global City Sampling Day. Spanning six continents, 32 countries and 54 cities, this event brings together more than 400 people, who are expected to collect about 12,000 samples of DNA, RNA and microbes from surfaces in subways, buses, airports and other well-traveled public meeting spaces. This will helps us better understand antimicrobial resistance in urban centers, and also identify new, naturally occurring drugs made by microbes, known as biosynthetic gene clusters.
The Doha team, the only desert represented in the consortium, will collect samples in Education City’s shuttle buses as well as in mass transit buses, bus stops and urban dwellings around Doha. Their aim is to understand the diversity of microbes hitching a “carpet ride” on dust particles of sand storms, and how these are affected by extreme conditions in the desert: high temperature and humidity, intense solar irradiance, and strong winds. For more information, check out the Doha News article http://dohanews.co/what-does-the-dust-bring-qatar-ecologist-aims-to-finds-out/ and official Press Release MetaSUB-Doha.