Interviews are organized by the month and year in which they first appeared. To find an interviewee by name, use the search bar (at upper right).
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How Does a COVID mRNA vaccine really work?: an interview with Dr. Evelyn Tichy
by Walter Tichy
The most potent weapon against COVID-19 is a vaccine based on messenger RNA (mRNA). The first of these vaccines authorized for use was developed by the German company BioNTech in cooperation with Pfizer, closely followed by the (U.S.-produced) Moderna vaccine. These vaccines send a piece of mRNA into cells of a host. The mRNA instructs the cells to produce masses of the same spike protein that also occurs on the shell of the real coronavirus. The immune system responds by learning to destroy anything showing that protein: if the real virus arrives, the immune system will attack it immediately. This much has been reported widely by the media. But important questions remain. How is mRNA actually synthesized as a transcription of the spike-producing segment of the virus' RNA? How is the selection and replication done? How does mRNA enter a host cell, and how long will it stay there? Will it produce the spike protein forever? Is it perhaps dangerous? And the biggest question of all: How does the immune system record the structure of the foreign protein, how does it recognize the invader, and how is the immune response cranked up? To answer these questions, we bring you a conversation between Ubiquity editor Walter Tichy and his daughter Dr. Evelyn Tichy, an infectious disease expert.
A conversation with Kashyap Tumkur: the promise and challenges of precision medicine
by Bushra Anjum
Ubiquity's senior editor Dr. Bushra Anjum chats with Kashyap Tumkur, a software engineer at Verily Life Sciences, the healthcare and life sciences arm of Alphabet. They discuss how the notion of "precision medicine" has gained popularity in recent times. Next, the focus turns to Tumkur's work, where he, along with his team, is working on collecting and integrating continuous time-series data to create a map of human health.
A conversation with Xiaokui Shu: the pursuit of speed in cybersecurity
by Bushra Anjum
In this interview, Bushra Anjum, senior editor Ubiquity, sits down with Xiaokui Shu, a Research Staff Member at IBM, and they chat about the latest emerging issues in cybersecurity. Is it possible to discover modern cyber threats before attackers accomplish their goals? The discussion then turns to the new era of dynamic cyber defense, which consists of detection strategies and procedures developed on the fly by security analysts based on live observations.
A conversation with Felix Kerger: taking small steps to mitigate the universal problem of information overload
by Bushra Anjum
In this interview, Ubiquity's senior editor Dr. Bushra Anjum chats with Felix Kerger, an experienced developer advocate working for King.com (Spain). They focus on the increasing challenges of information overload for computing professionals and students. The discussion then moves to some of the strategies that can be employed to make information easier to find and ensure the right audience receives the right information directly.