Newswise — We are surrounded by billions of bacteria, the microbiome. They are on and in our bodies, and cover literally everything around us. Some of these microbes can be harmful, but many are beneficial, protecting us from harmful germs and helping us digest food. This Tuesday and Wednesday, to better understand this mysterious hidden world, scientists will be collecting bacteria from monuments at Gettysburg Battlefield and Fort McHenry in Baltimore.  

This work is part of the Monumentome project, which will collect samples from the world’s greatest monuments. The goal: to provide the first catalog of microorganisms on monuments around the world, information that can be used by authorities in conserving the monuments. For each monument, they will sample a small area not touched by the public. The data will show which microorganisms are there, and will be shared with authorities. Other monuments in the project include the Parthenon in Athens, the Hollywood sign, the Statue of Liberty, the Bruce Lee statue in Hong Kong and the Ghenghis Khan statue in Mongolia.

Come see cutting edge science in action!


When, Where:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 1pm, Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pa,

Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 1pm, Fort McHenry, Baltimore



Emmanuel F. Mongodin, microbiome researcher, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Lynn M. Schriml, microbiome researcher, University of Maryland School of Medicine