In today’s episode, we interview scientists about new areas of research and exploration that were initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
First off, Janani Hariharan interviews Dr. Jennifer Surtees, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University at Buffalo, and Co-Director of UB’s Genome, Environment and Microbiome Community of Excellence. Dr. Surtees recently sequenced dozens of SARS-CoV-2 isolates, obtained from the Erie County Department of Public Health.
During the interview, Surtees discusses how the SARS-CoV-2 RNA sequences reveal the geographical origins of the different viral isolates. You can hear about what SARS-CoV-2 genomes look like, how genomics can inform public health guidelines, and how to access a public database that contains information on SARS-CoV-2 strains from around the world.
To learn more about Dr. Surtees’ research, go to http://medicine.buffalo.edu/faculty/profile.html?ubit=jsurtees
Later in the show, Esther Racoosin speaks with Dr. Jason Guss, a former graduate student of the Cornell Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering. Guss, together with fellow Cornell alum Dr. Apoorva Kiran, established Iterate Labs.
Iterate Labs initially developed wearable devices that could improve workplace ergonomic safety. Now the devices are being modified to provide location awareness to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus in manufacturing workplaces. They also facilitate contact tracing when and if a worker contracts the virus. To learn more, visit https://iteratelabs.co/.
Today’s show concludes with an overview of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability new rapid-response grants that are funding a variety of COVID-19-related Cornell research projects. To learn more, visit https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2020/08/cornell-atkinson-awards-250k-covid-research-grants.
Producer: Liz Mahood
Co-Producer: Esther Racoosin
Interview of Dr. Jennifer Surtees: Janani Harihanan
Interview of Dr. Jason Guss: Esther Racoosin
Overview of Cornell Atkinson Center COVID-19 grants: Candice Limper
Music: Joe Lewis; Blue Dot Sessions