CU Boulder – COVID Test Innovations

sawyersara-boulder_0CU Boulder has just opened up dorms and in-person classes.  The CU Boulder Covid Research Strategies Webinar presents innovative testing plans that include ultra-fast COVID tests from the Sara Sawyer Lab and an automated sewage sampling system from Creston Mansfeldt.  Both tests may speed early warning of Covid.  Both testing strategies are innovative and ambitious.  But funding and testing capacity mean only dormitory students receive these tests.  Dorm students represent around 20% of CU Boulder students.  Roughly 80% of CU students live off-campus (not in the dorms).  They are not slated to receive these special tests, or basically, any regular tests.

Currently, CU-Boulder COVID infection rates are low.  As questions on next week’s show, we will be watching for . . . how does all this influence the ability of CU-Boulder’s innovative tests to help CU keep Covid-19 cases down and to help the campus stay open?

 

Hosts:  Beth Bennett, Angele Sjong, Shelley Schlender
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Maeve Conran

 

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The Neuroscience of Pain

Woo2017NPStuningcurve-copyChronic pain is a debilitating condition for millions of people worldwide.   But what role does our brain play in processing pain?    Cognitive neuroscientists, using advanced imaging techniques, are gaining a better understanding of how our brain processes pain.   They can now measure and model brain systems linked to our pain and emotions.   This is shedding new light on interventions for people who suffer from chronic pain.
In this How on Earth episode, Jill Sjong speaks with Tor Wager, an expert in the neuroscience of pain, and formerly a professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder.   Jill also speaks with Charlie Merrill, a Boulder-based physiotherapist who works with local athletes, many of whom suffer from chronic pain.
Host:   Jill Sjong
Executive Producer:   Susan Moran
Engineer:   Maeve Conran
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COVID-19: The Evidence for Aerosol Transmission & Implications for Containment

This week How on Earth producer Beth Bennett spoke with Professor Jose Jimenez, a professor in the Chemistry Dept here at CU in Boulder. His research background for over two decades has focused on detecting and measuring aerosols. Recently he became involved in applying this expertise to the question of how the corona virus is transmitted. He and his team have developed a model that predicts the likelihood of transmission of the virus from an infected person to other people in an indoor space. Here are find links to the model, a webinar describing its development and use and his website. The interview starts at ~8 min.

Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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Salmonella Biofilms — Inside of Us

Curli Protein artists rendition cc Wikimedia
Curli Protein artists rendition cc Wikimedia

Salmonella Biofilms — Inside of Us.  (starts 4:06) Foodborne Salmonella infections MIGHT pave the way for arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and even Alzheimer’s.  We talk with Aaron White, co-author of a new study documenting how a salmonella infection can “leak” out of the intestines and form velcro-like biofilms in body tissues.  These biofilms are made of curly-shaped, curli (scientific name) proteins on the surface of a Salmonella bacteria.  These curli proteins help the cells stick together.  They’re hard for the body to scrub away, and they might contribute to a number of health problems.  (GO HERE for Extended Version TRANSCRIPT with links to related research)

Headlines – WHY Covid causes loss of smell; Sensors from Louisville Vaisala on new Mars Explorer, Perseverance.

 

Host/Producer:  Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

 

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Formation of Pluto and Its Ocean

plutoFive years ago today on July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft made the first reconnaissance of Pluto, collecting data that continue to be analyzed and provide surprises of this distant world.  On this 5th anniversary of the Pluto flyby, our guest is Dr. Carver Bierson, who is a planetary scientist at Arizona State University.  Carver has been involved with the New Horizons mission, and recently published a paper about Pluto based on data from the mission.  We talk with him about results in the paper titled: “Evidence for a Hot Start and Early Ocean Formation on Pluto

Host / Producer : Joel Parker
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett

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New Method for Measuring CO2 from Fossil Fuels

smokestackThis week on How on Earth, Beth interviewed Scott Lehman of the University of Colorado here in Boulder. Dr Lehman collaborated with a team at NOAA, to develop a novel technique to identify the CO2 released by burning of fossil fuels, allowing its exact calibration in the global carbon budget. Due to technical difficulties, you can’t hear Beth’s questions in the audio, but Scott’s responses are very clear. You can find more information at his website and read his recent paper published two weeks ago in PNAS.

Host:Beth Bennett
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer:Joel Parker

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The Corral Bluffs’ Fossil Discovery: Earth’s Comeback Story

westword
Tyler Lyson. P/C: Westword

In this episode Angele Sjong interviews Tyler Lyson, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, about his team’s extraordinary fossil discovery at the Corral Bluffs.

When the asteroid destroyed most of life on earth 66 million years ago, including the dinosaurs, this cataclysmic event ended the Age of Reptiles and began the Age of Mammals.Paleontologists have long struggled to understand the first million years of the Age of Mammals, however.  What kinds of mammals survived this event?   When and how did mammals become big again?  When did mammals begin to diversify?  What was the plant life and climate like at this time?   The animal and plant fossils at Corral Bluffs shed light on this critical time period in earth’s history that has been a mystery for so long.

Corral Bluffs fossil discovery. Photo credit: Springs Magazine
Corral Bluffs fossil discovery. Photo credit: Springs Magazine

The Corral Bluffs have been featured on the PBS Nova show titled “Age of Mammals.”   Nova show, “Rise of the Mammals”.

The Corral Bluffs’ fossils are on exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science:

DMNS Exhibit: After the asteroid: Earth’s comeback story

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer: Angele Sjong
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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Vaccine Update // General Anesthetic Poses Alcohol Abuse Risk for Kids

CoronaVirusThis week on How on Earth, Beth delves into the science of vaccination for the new corona virus and speaks with Dr David Werner of SUNY Binghamton about his research on the likelihood that general anesthetics can set children and adolescents up for the risk of later alcohol abuse. Find out more at his website.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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The Nature of Science // Biology is Everywhere!

898e6e_a2796ccdceee4c5fbe8120db2def5fee~mv2Today on How on Earth, Beth plays part of a 1964 lecture by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman in which he discusses how the scientific method actually works and the progressive, and therefore uncertain, nature of science. Then she speaks with Dr Melanie Peffer about her book, Biology is Everywhere, and her goals of making biology accessible and interesting to everyone. Her website was cited incorrectly on the show, here is the true link.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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Carl Safina – Becoming Wild (Animal Culture)

Carl Safina Becoming Wild Sperm WhalesCarl Safina – Becoming Wild:  How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace We talk with bestselling author Carl Safina about his new book, Becoming Wild, which features sperm whales, scarlet macaws and chimpanzees  Safina also he reflects on what the Covid-19 pandemic means for the entire kingdom of Life on Earth.  (Entire Show)

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer:Maeve Conran

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