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Posts tagged as “COVID-19”

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

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”. https://theconversation.com/how-people-react-to-the-threat-of-disease-could-mean-covid-19-is-reshaping-personalities-137366

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

LSS 83: Women in Science III

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Particles
(Source: NIAID, Wikimedia Commons)

In the month of March, we are recognizing the contributions of women scientists to all fields of science.   This is our last edition of our special Women’s History Month episodes. Of course, LSS will continue to post interviews of women scientists in upcoming shows.

Today, you’ll hear a podcast from Cornell graduate student and Locally Sourced Science contributor, Candice Limper.  She speaks with fellow graduate student Dr. Scarlett Lee from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
In this interview, Dr. Lee, who is a veterinarian, talks about what is known so far about COVID-19 disease in humans of different ages.  She discusses the disease in light of her research interest, which is the effect of age on the immune system.

Dr. Jarra Jagne

Later in the show, you’ll hear an interview of Dr. Jarra Jagne, a veterinarian and Senior Extension Associate at the Animal Health Diagnostic Lab in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.  She specializes in avian diseases and advises poultry producers on how to avoid disease outbreaks in their flocks. Here, she talks about zoonotic diseases such as SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, that can spread from animals to humans.

Also, in today’s show, Liz Mahood’s presents a profile of Dr. Mary Guinan, the Dean of the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Show Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interviews: Candice Limper & Esther Racoosin

Profile of Dr. Mary Guinan: Liz Mahood

Music: Joe Lewis, Blu Dot Sessions, Ben Jordan