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Posts tagged as “coronavirus”

LSS 101: Developing a New SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine; Expression of Host Cell Genes That Modulate SARS-CoV-2 Entry

In today’s episode, we continue our series of interviews with scientists who have decided to use their expertise in their respective fields to help further research into the biology of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

First off, you’ll hear Esther Racoosin’s interview of Dr. Matthew DeLisa, a Professor of Engineering at Cornell University.  For 4 years, his laboratory has been using bacterial Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) technology to develop a universal influenza vaccine. Recently, DeLisa’s lab has been using that to design a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

To learn more about Dr. DeLisa’s research, visit


In today’s second interview, Esther speaks with Dr. Cedric Feschotte, Professor in the Cornell Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.  Researchers in Dr. Feschotte’s lab study how mobile DNA elements, such as transposons and endogenous viruses move around in genomes. 

Following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Manu Singh and Dr. Vikas Bansal of the Max Planck Institute in Tubingen, Germany, began study studying host cell expression of genes called SCARFs.  That acronym stands for SARS CoV-2 and Coronavirus-Associated Receptors and factors.   SCARFs include cellular factors both facilitating and restricting viral entry.

To learn more about SCARFs, visit

To find out more about research in Dr. Feschotte’s lab, visit

Producer: Liz Mahood

Associate Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interviews of Dr. Matt DeLisa and Dr. Cedric Feschotte: Esther Racoosin

Music: Joe Lewis; Blue Dot Sessions

LSS 100: How Humans Perceive the Risk of Contracting COVID-19; Feline Coronaviruses

MTA Deploys PPE Vending Machines Across Subway System
(photo courtesy of Creative Commons; MTA Photos; CC by 2.0)

In today’s episode, we explore how people perceive the risk of contracting COVID-19. We also discuss how humans can avoid passing COVID-19 to their beloved cat companions.

First off, you’ll hear Candice Limper’s interview of Cornell Professor Dr. Katherine McComas. She is a Professor of Communications in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and studies how people communicate about health, science, and environmental risks.

Dr. Alison Stout (photo courtesy of Dr. Stout)

In the second half of today’s show, you’ll hear Candice Limper’s interview of Dr Alison Stout, a veterinarian who is pursuing her Ph.D. in Virology. She is a student in Dr. Gary Whittaker’s lab in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. In the interview, Dr. Stout talks about her research on feline coronaviruses and how humans can avoid passing SARS CoV-2 to their pets.

Producer: Liz Mahood

Associate Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interviews of Dr. McComas and Dr. Stout: Candice Limper

Music: Blue Dot Sessions

LSS88: Developing a SARS-CoV-2 Testing Machine; How People React to the Threat of Disease

Rheonix Encompass COVID-19 Detection Work Station (photo courtesy of Rheonix)

On today’s show, we will be covering different scientific topics relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, Dr. Scarlett Lee interviews Doug Olsen, Vice President of operations at Ithaca-based Rheonix, Inc., about his company’s COVID-19 MDx Assay using their Encompass workstation.  Rheonix recently received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for their machine that quickly analyzes nasopharyngeal swab test samples.

Dr. Vivian Zayas, Cornell University

Later in the show, Esther Racoosin speaks with Dr. Vivian Zayas, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University. Zayas studies how people’s minds shape, and are shaped by, their life circumstances. She recently wrote an article titled, “How people react to the threat of disease could mean COVID-19 is reshaping personalities”.

You’ll also hear a report on recent local science news from Liz Mahood.

Show Host and Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Doug Olsen: Scarlett Lee and Candice Limper

Interview of Dr. Vivian Zayas: Esther Racoosin

Music: Joe Lewis, Blue Dot Sessions, Ben Jordan