Published: Sept. 3, 2020

Here’s some CU news you can use: What we flush down the toilet can contain the virus that causes COVID-19; researchers take the ultimate Earth mirror selfie; and why face coverings are important even outdoors. 

How sampling campus wastewater aims to keep COVID-19 in check

What we learned:

  • ​What we flush down the toilet can contain the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-COV-2.
  • A new network of sampling stations on campus will anonymously monitor the wastewater leaving residence halls. 
  • This system can provide an early warning, detecting infections almost a week before someone with COVID-19 might exhibit symptoms and need to seek medical attention. 

Researchers take the ultimate Earth selfie

What we learned:

  • Researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope to view Earth as if it were an exoplanet, or a world orbiting a star many lightyears away.
  • The group recorded the properties of sunlight that had filtered through the planet's atmosphere, then bounced off the surface of the moon during a total lunar eclipse.
  • The researchers were able to detect the signature of the ozone in Earth's atmosphere—a molecule that is a potential "biosignature" for the presence of life. 

Even outdoors—why face coverings are important

What we learned:

  • Face coverings work. Basically, face coverings reduce how many viruses an infected person puts into the air, and they also reduce how many viruses a susceptible person will inhale. They reduce both.
  • You don't want to be talking to someone in close proximity without a face covering. The approach that is closest to a silver bullet of prevention is being outdoors, distanced and with face coverings.
  • Make sure your face covering fits well.