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MIT Technology Review

The scientists who swab subways for coronavirus

Ride along on a subway-swabbing mission and meet scientists racing to find an existing drug that might treat the disease.

August 26, 2020

What weird bugs did you pick up last time you rode a subway train? Just as the covid-19 pandemic was taking off, a global network of scientists began mapping the DNA of urban microbes and using AI to look for patterns. Join host Jennifer Strong as she rides along on a subway-swabbing mission and talks to scientists racing to find an existing drug that might treat the disease.

We meet:

  • Christopher Mason, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • David Danko, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Baroness Joanna Shields, BenevolentAI CEO

Credits: This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao with help from Benji Rosen. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield. Our technical director is Jacob Gorski.