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Microorganisms are everywhere (and that’s not a problem)


In June, researchers from every continent on Earth released the world’s first catalog of the microbial ecosystem in urban areas. Using 4,728 samples collected from streets, shoes, public transport, and hospitals over three years, the group genetically mapped the microbiota—the bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms—of 60 cities in 32 countries, three of which were in Brazil. One of the main findings of the study was that there were 31 species of bacteria that appeared in 97% of the samples. They form a central group of microorganisms prevalent in cities all over the world. Molecular biologist Emmanuel Dias-Neto, from the A.C.Camargo Cancer Center, talks about those invisible neighbors.