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Living Lab Radio: Moving Toward A Universal Flu Vaccine

sailor_has_flu_shot_aboard_uss_monterey._10310797595.jpg
A sailor gets a flu shot aboard the USS Monterey.
U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain
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ll112717.mp3

It’s time for your yearly flu shot. But why do we have to do this every year? Why can’t we get a flu shot once — maybe a booster now and again — and be done with it, like we do with other vaccinations? There are scientists working to accomplish just that. David Topham at University of Rochester Medical Center is on the task, but he warns that some efforts to develop a universal flu vaccine may not be as successful as hoped. Still, the NIH has a goal to develop such a vaccine in the next five years.

An asteroid strike took out the dinosaurs. And a meteor that struck Chelyabinsk, Russia a few years ago woke the astronomy community up to the need for a better system for tracking asteroids that could affect Earth. Now, an international asteroid warning network has gotten its first test. Luckily for us all, NASA aced it. We talk with Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer for NASA.

Food insecurity and climate change are affecting millions of people today. Some experts say aquaculture — ocean farming — could help address both of those issues. We talk with Scott Lindell, aquaculture researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Autumn Oczkowski made headlines earlier this month — not for her science, but for the fact that EPA leadership told her she couldn’t present that science at a conference about the future of Narragansett Bay. EPA leadership never said why they made that decision, but many assumed it was because climate change would be a major theme.

A week later, though, Oczkowski was allowed to present her research at a different conference. It got us wondering what it’s like to be a government researcher when your science is caught in the political crosshairs.

We speak to Autumn Oczkowski, Research Ecologist in EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory.

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