Talking Techniques | From space to the streets: infectious disease sampling in extreme conditions and extraordinary circumstances

In this episode, we take a look at one of the key steps of infectious disease research, sample collection; exploring the challenges associated with the step and the solutions available to improve infectious disease research around the globe.

Guiding me through the trials and tribulations of infectious disease sample collection is Stanislav Forman, Product Developer at Zymo Research (CA, USA). Stan explains the extreme environments in which sample collection often occurs; revealing the difficult transit and storage requirements – often involving cold chain logistics – that can derail infectious disease studies early on.

Find out how key solutions to these problems have been successfully workshopped with the US military and have even been used in work with NASA to conduct safe sample collection in space. And discover just how successful these solutions can be when faced with the blazing wreckage of a transit vehicle…


  • Introductions: 00:00-01:20
  • Key challenges of sample collection for infectious disease research: 01:20-02:30
  • Additional challenges presented by COVID-19: 02:30-05:00
  • The emergence of at-home testing: 05:00-07:00
  • Established practices for sample collection and introducing DNA/RNA shield: 07:00-09:00
  • Protecting DNA/RNA samples: 09:00-11:00
  • Working with NASA on sample collection and protection in space: 11:00-14:20
  • Protecting samples in a blazing transit van: 14:20-15:25
  • The impact of inactivating and preserving sample collection products on infectious disease research: 15:30-16:30
  • Areas for improvement in sample collection: 16:30-17:30
  • Closing statements: 17:30-19:20