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Podcast

Coronavirus spreads financial turmoil to universities, and a drone that fights mosquito-borne illnesses

Science Podcast
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Muhammad Mahdi Karim/Wikipedia

Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how universities are dealing with the financial crunch brought on by the coronavirus. Jeff discusses how big research universities are balancing their budgets as federal grants continue to flow, but endowments are down and so is the promise of state funding.

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Mosquito-borne infections like Zika, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya cause millions of deaths each year. Nicole Culbert and colleges write this week in Science Robotics about a new way to deal with deadly mosquitoes—using drones. The drones are designed to drop hundreds of thousands of sterile male mosquitoes in areas with high risk of mosquito-borne illness. The idea is that sterile male mosquitoes will mate with females and the females then lay infertile eggs, which causes the population to decline. They found this drone-based approach is cheaper and more efficient than other methods of releasing sterile mosquitoes and does not have the problems associated with pesticide-based eradication efforts such as resistance and off-target effects.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

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