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Penn State To Conduct 150 Coronavirus-Related Research Projects

Penn State will conduct more than 150 coronavirus-related research projects to better understand the virus, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Each project will investigate different aspects of the virus, including people’s reactions to it, its spread, and how Penn State will adapt to combat the virus this fall.

Penn State was one of the first universities in the country to have faculty submit coronavirus-related project proposals back in March. Now, it seems those proposals will come to fruition as faculty and students return to campus this fall.

Specific studies include queries into whether or not nose and mouth wash can help reduce virus transmission, the impact of the virus on babies during pregnancy, if empathy is a driving factor in being willing to social distance, and the economic impact of businesses due to virus.

Some researchers will be in a lab with the live coronavirus during select studies. Researchers must pass an FBI background check and complete a 45-minute preparation process to enter labs.

Elizabeth McGraw, a professor of entomology and director of Penn State’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, discussed the volume of research proposals and faculty’s desire to tackle the issues surrounding the virus.

“We discovered overwhelming interest from researchers across the university and across the spectrum of disciplines, all wanting to try in their own way to produce solutions,” McGraw said.

Researchers hope these projects will help scientists better understand the virus and its impact on local communities. Penn State’s team believes this will be critical as thousands of students prepare to move back to Happy Valley in just a few weeks.

“Many of us spend our research careers thinking about problems away from campus,” Matthew Ferrari, an associate professor and infectious-disease expert, told The Inquirer. “Now is the time when we really are all uniquely focused on the needs of our neighbors and community.”

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a senior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in secondary education and minoring in social justice in education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor", and yes mom, actually doing school work. If you would like to talk about sports or "Survivor", the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to [email protected]

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