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Posts published in “podcast”

LSS 95: Exploring Asteroid Bennu and “Shelter In Space” at Home

In this episode, you’ll hear an interview of three Ithaca College students, Antara Sen, Robert Melikyan and Salvatore Ferrone, who are studying the asteroid 101955 Bennu. Their advisor, Professor Beth Ellen Clark Joseph, is a scientist working on NASA mission OSIRIS-REx that will be touching down on the asteroid on October 20, in order to collect samples from the 500 meter diameter object.

To learn more about the mission, visit: https://www.asteroidmission.org/objectives/

Zoe Learner Ponterio (photo courtesy of Esther Racoosin)

Later in the show, you’ll hear Liz Mahood’s interview of Zoe Learner Ponterio, manager of the Spacecraft Planetary Imaging Facility at Cornell, also known as SPIF. The facility is closed to the public right now, due to COVID-19. But SPIF is offering an exciting remote learning program called “Shelter in Space” that students can explore at home. Visit https://cornellspif.com/ to learn more.

Today’s show starts off with an update about “2020 Migration Celebration”. The program usually is held on one day in September at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, but this year you can learn about bird migration during a two-week series of virtual presentations. To learn more, go to: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/visit/migration-celebration-2020/

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Ithaca College Students: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Zoe Learner Ponterio: Liz Mahood

Overview of Cornell Lab of O Migration Celebration: Candice Limper

Music: Joe Lewis; Blue Dot Sessions

LSS 94: Research Inspired by the COVID-19 Pandemic

In today’s episode, we interview scientists about new areas of research and exploration that were initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jennifer Surtees (photo courtesy of Dr. Surtees)

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

Dr. Jason Guss (photo courtesy of Dr. Guss)

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.

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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

LSS 93: Research Amid COVID-19

Dr. Kaylin Ratner (photo courtesy of Dr. Ratner)

In today’s show, we speak with a scientist whose research was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also talk with a researcher who is using social media as outreach for scientists and the public who would like to learn more about microbial biology.

First, Jeff Pea interviews Dr. Kaylin Ratner, a recent PhD graduate in the Cornell College of Human Ecology. They discuss her study following a cohort of Cornell undergraduates that began their studies in 2016. She planned to survey the cohort at the end of their senior year, but these plans were altered after Cornell closed its campus due to the COVID-19 shutdown. One of her published studies can be found here https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2167702619829748.

Dr. Ana Maria Porras (photo courtesy of Dr. Porras)

Later in the show, you’ll hear Smaranda Sandu’s interview of Dr. Ana Maria Porras. Dr. Porras is a Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, and a researcher in Dr. Ilana Brito’s laboratory in the Cornell Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering.

In the interview, Dr. Ana Maria Porras discusses her research on the gut microbiome. She also speaks about her use of social media as a way to promote science. Porras serves as a AAAS If/Then ambassador, which is a program that encourages young women to enter STEM fields (https://ifthen.aaas.org/).

This interview initially aired on Sandu’s podcast, “Tidbits of Research” (https://tidbitsofresearch.podbean.com/).


Producer: Liz Mahood

Interview of Dr. Kaylin Ratner: Jeff Pea

Interview of Dr. Ana Maria Porras: Smaranda Sandu

Music: Joe Lewis, Blue Dot Sessions

LSS 92: Citizen Science Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Water20.tif by NRCS Montana is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

In today’s show, you’ll hear about two citizen science projects that are happening in our area.

First off, Liz Mahood speaks with Nathaniel Launer, outreach coordinator at the Community Science Institute, also known as CSI.  He will describe ongoing citizen science projects involving monitoring of local bodies of water.

For more information about Community Science Institute synoptic stream sampling, go to: http://www.communityscience.org/volunteer/synoptic-sampling/ 

Dr. Emma Greig (photo courtesy of Dr. Greig)

After that, you’ll hear Jeff Pea’s interview of Dr. Emma Greig.  She is the project leader at Project Feeder Watch based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  She describes how Project Feeder watch works and how the project concluded with an extra month this past season as the pandemic started to spread across North America.

For more information about Project Feeder Watch, visit: https://feederwatch.org/

Mural painted at “Plants Have Families Too” Judy’s Day, September 2018 (photo courtesy of Raylene Ludgate, Cornell Botanic Gardens).

To close out the show, we present an interview about a new, remote youth education program being run this August by the Cornell Botanic Garden.  It is called “Plants Have Families, Too”, and will provide materials to kids ages 8 to 11 so that they can get outside and learn about plant families.  Cornell Botanic Gardens hopes that this program will inspire young students to become budding scientists. To learn more, visit: https://events.cornell.edu/event/plants_have_families_too

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Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Nathaniel Launer: Liz Mahood

Interview of Dr. Emma Grieg: Jeff Pea

Interview about “Plants have Families Too”: Esther Racoosin

Music: Joe Lewis, Blue Dot Sessions, Ben Jordan