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Not enough COVID-19 tests? No problem, we'll make them!

Season 1, Ep. 4

Not enough COVID-19 tests? No problem, we’ll make some!

 

When the coronavirus first transformed from a weird respiratory disease centered in Wuhan, China to a global pandemic, no one was really prepared. Worldwide, no one had enough masks, personal protective gear and definitely — not enough tests.

 

The problem was especially acute in places like Norway, a small country that had to compete on a global market to get anything and everything. 

 

What happened when a molecular biologist, some engineers and a couple of PhDs and postdocs put their heads together to design a completely different kind of coronavirus test — and how it changed lives in India, Denmark and Nepal.  This last country was given coronavirus tests as NTNU’s annual Christmas gift, in coordination with a volunteer organization called NepalimedNorway.

 

Our guests on today’s show are Magnar Bjørås, Sulalit Bandyopadhyay, Vegar Ottesen, Anuvansh Sharma and Tonje Steigedal.


There's a transcript for today's show here.

 

You can read more in detail about the tests here: https://www.ntnu.edu/ntnu-covid-19-test

 

And here is a list of articles from NTNU and SINTEF’s online research magazine, Norwegian SciTech News:

 

NTNU’s new COVID-19 test to be used in India and Denmark

NTNU establishes a factory to produce coronavirus tests

From thousands of tiny balls to 150,000 tests per week

 

This episode was written, recorded, edited and produced by Nancy Bazilchuk. Sound design and editorial assistance from Randi Lillealtern at Historiebruket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby grey seals. Polar bears. Zooplankton on painkillers. How do toxic chemicals and substances end up in Arctic animals — and as it happens, native people, too? Our guests on today's show are Bjørn Munro Jenssen, an ecotoxicologist at NTNU, Jon Øyvind Odland, a professor of global health at NTNU and a professor of international health at UiT —The Arctic University of Norway, and Ida Beathe Øverjordet, a researcher at SINTEF.One of the most useful websites on arctic pollution is the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, AMAP. Rachel Carson's book is Silent Spring.Here's a selection of articles from today's episode:Sørmo, E.G., Salmer, M.P., Jenssen, B.M., Hop, H., Bæk, K., Kovacs, K.M., Lydersen, C., Falk-Petersen, S., Gabrielsen, G.W., Lie, E. and Skaare, J.U. (2006), Biomagnification of polybrominated diphenyl ether and hexabromocyclododecane flame retardants in the polar bear food chain in Svalbard, Norway. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 25: 2502-2511. https://doi.org/10.1897/05-591RBourgeon, Sophie; Riemer, Astrid Kolind; Tartu, Sabrina; Aars, Jon; Polder, Anuschka; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Routti, Heli Anna Irmeli.(2017)Potentiation of ecological factors on the disruption of thyroid hormones by organo-halogenated contaminants in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Barents Sea.Environmental Research.vol. 15Nuijten, RJM; Hendriks, AJ; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Schipper, AM.(2016)Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects.Environmental Research.vol. 151.Chashchin, Valery; Kovshov, Aleksandr A.; Thomassen, Yngvar; Sorokina, Tatiana; Gorbanev, Sergey A.; Morgunov, Boris; Gudkov, Andrey B.; Chashchin, Maxim; Sturlis, Natalia V.; Trofimova, Anna; Odland, Jon Øyvind; Nieboer, Evert.(2020)Health risk modifiers of exposure to persistent pollutants among indigenous peoples of Chukotka.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH).vol. 17 (1).