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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Researchers know by now that COVID-19 transmits through the air. So what if we could detect the virus in the air before it infects others? That’s something the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems is working on right now, along with other COVID-related research.

One of the tenants at the center, Acumen Detection, is working on its own research related to the pandemic. They’ve created a product to stop the spread of disease and bacteria in cows.

“To find infections before they show clinical signs, which means we can detect those asymptomatic carriers that everybody’s hearing about in cows,” said Chuck Stormon, CEO of Acumen Detection.

Now, they want to use that same technology for COVID-19, hoping to one day be able to detect the virus in the air. The idea is to be able to tell whether or not someone who walks into a room has the virus.

“It’s a big pivot for us to try to switch from dairy to COVID-19. But we felt that during this pandemic, it’s a very good idea for everybody to use all the resources they have to try to help,” Stormon said.

This same pivot is happening all throughout the center. They’re looking for startups with pandemic-related ideas they can invest in, focusing on indoor air quality and energy efficiency.

“It’s our responsibility. This is what the center was built to do. And this should be our moment to have an impact,” said Dr. Eric Schiff, Interim Executive Director of the Syracuse CoE.

Even though this research has only begun and it may never fully come to fruition, for the center, it’s worth the money and the time to do whatever they can to save lives.

“We hope to come up with something that will make it safer to be indoors with other people and make life a little more normal,” Stormon said.

The Syracuse CoE is giving away grant money through its Innovation Fund. Right now, they’re looking through applications for the next best idea. They’ll be sifting through those submissions in October.

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For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9.

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