Bioweathermap will track worldwide movement of anthrax

A team of scientists led by Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church has created a project called the Bioweathermap to track the worldwide movements of organisms, including anthrax.
Other members of the team include University of Colorado - Boulder geneticist Rob Knight and Jason Bobe, the director of community for the Personal Genome Project based out of Church's lab at Harvard. The grassroots project uses high-speed DNA sequencing of the biological residue on paper currency to detect the spread of these organisms, Forbes reports.
The system uses paper currency because it is one of the most well-traveled and oft-handled of objects. Other diseases that can be detected with the direct sequencing process include cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid.
The Bioweathermap project is collaborative and depends on volunteers to donate currency or to swab everyday objects and send in the samples, reports reports. The scientists then use computer visualizations that employee a phylogenic tree to identify organisms on the object, like bacteria such as aureliobacter, streptococcus and staphlococcus. The scientists then compare the sample with samples sent in from the same region. This produces a map that shows the similar places in the country where people sent in "infected" objects with similar organisms.
The project may help the scientists to determine how these organisms are different in different countries and how germ diversity changes over time.