"The New Generation of Microbe Hunters"
Dr. Eric Schadt, the chairman of genetics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and chief scientific officer of Pacific Biosciences, wants to make disease weather maps. He began with pilot studies, first in his company’s offices. For several months, the company analyzed the genomes of microbes on surfaces, like desks and computers and handles on toilets. As the flu season began, the surfaces began containing more and more of the predominant flu strain until, at the height of the flu season, every surface had the flu viruses. The most contaminated surface? The control switches for projectors in the conference rooms. “Everybody touches them and they never get cleaned,” Dr. Schadt said.
- Dr. Eric Schadt, Professor & Chair Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Director of the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine