Bioscience Talks

Environmental DNA and RNA May Be Key in Monitoring Pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2



A discussion of environmental DNA and RNA (eDNA and eRNA, respectively) and its potential for pathogen monitoring. eDNA and eRNA approaches work through the collection of a sample (often from an aquatic source), whose genetic contents are then sequenced to reveal the presence and prevalence of pathogens. This conversation focuses on two cases, that of a herpesvirus that causes cancers among as turtles, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Our guests are Jessica Farrell and David Duffy of the University of Florida's Whitney Lab and Sea Turtle Hospital and Liam Whitmore, of the University of Limerick, in Ireland. Read the article in BioScience here. The authors' case study is written up here.