Middle Bit: ISU chemists developing paper-strip urine test for at-home COVID-19 evaluation

Chemists at Iowa State University are developing a paper-strip urine test to detect COVID-19.

Robbyn Anand, an Iowa State assistant professor of chemistry, is the leader of the project.

The test is designed to detect the presence of a coronavirus protein in a urine sample. To do that, Anand said it will have to be 10 to 1,000 times more sensitive than a pregnancy test.

Anand and the students working in her research group will use electric fields to boost test sensitivity. It’s called electrokinetics and Anand has been working with it since 2004 to concentrate, separate, isolate and manipulate charged particles.

Anand’s COVID-19 project is built on previous work that uses electric fields to help detect an inflammatory protein for an autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s syndrome.

The project is supported by a recently announced one-year, $55,000 grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement based in Tucson, Arizona. It is one of seven grants the group awarded to support physical scientists launching COVID-19 projects and working to detect and mitigate epidemics.

DMACC’s datacenter training program adds new certification

DMACC, along with four other Microsoft Datacenter Academies around the country, now have a new requirement to test their tech skills: CompTIA certifications.

The Datacenter Academy trains students for entry-level jobs at data centers. Training covers infrastructure cabling, copper and fiber optic testing, and computer network connectivity. Courses range from eight weeks to 20 months.

The Datacenter Academy program is a part of Microsoft’s Datacenter Community Development initiative, which works to build partnerships that deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits in communities where Microsoft operates datacenters. The initiative brings together nonprofits, governments, educators, and businesses to improve computer science education and support business development.

Earlier this spring the datacenter academy at DMACC opened a virtual learning lab, which features virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies that gives students the opportunity to navigate the Microsoft data centers located throughout Central Iowa via a simulated environment.

Gov. Reynolds proclaims June 22-26 Technology Week

The Technology Association of Iowa announce this week that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has proclaimed Technology Week in Iowa as June 22 – 26, 2020 in conjunction with TAI’s Prometheus Awards Week.

During Technology Week, Iowa companies, schools, students, scholars, educators, and technology industry professionals will celebrate their accomplishments and achievements.