New York City's Community Biolab

Projects > Enquete Gowanus

Just as Craig Venter sailed the seven seas to discover new and useful life forms, the citizen scientists of Genspace have ventured into the wilds of the Gowanus Canal to catalog and study the microrganisms hardy enough to survive in a Superfund site.

Collections of bottom sludge from 14 different sites along the canal were made in the summer and fall of 2014. DNA was extracted by Genspace members and the microbiome explored through whole shotgun sequencing at Weill-Cornell Medical College. The summer samples were included in the PathoMap project, an ambitious effort by Dr. Chris Mason's lab to map the microbiome of New York City. The data were published in the journal Cell Systems and can be explored in an interactive map.

Watch our videos of the project. Gowanus1  Gowanus2

We extended our research with our 2015 iGEM project, which won Best Project by a community lab and a gold medal at iGEM 2015. Check out our Team Wiki.