Bourouiba Group's research on droplets and diseases in humans and plants featured by Science Friday and HHMI

The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory featured in Science Friday and HHMI's series "Breakthrough: Connecting the drops"

Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor Lydia Bourouiba was featured in the third episode of Science Friday and Howard Hughes Medical Institute's series "Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science." The Science Friday and HHMI series on Women in Science features six distinguished scientists and their research. The aim of the series is to increase the public’s access to science and inspire and increase the numbers of minorities in STEM. The third episode highlighting Bourouiba’s research and her path to MIT, "Breakthrough: Connecting the drops," can be watched here.  


Publications referenced:

  • Bourouiba, L. (2016) A Sneeze. New England Journal of Medicine. 357(8):e15.
  • Wang, Y. and Bourouiba, L. (2016) Drop impact on small surfaces: thickness and velocity profiles of the expanding sheet in the air. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 814:510-534.
  • Scharfman, B. E., Techet, A. H., Bush, J. W. M. and Bourouiba, L. (2016) Visualization of sneeze ejecta: steps of fluid fragmentation leading to respiratory droplets. Experiments in Fluids. 57:24–1-9.
  • Gilet, T. and Bourouiba, L. (2015) Fluid fragmentation shapes rain-induced foliar disease transmission. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 12:20141092.
  • Gilet, T. and Bourouiba, L. (2014) Rain-induced ejection of pathogens from leaves: revisiting the mechanism of splash-on-film using high-speed visualization. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 54:974–984.
  • Bourouiba, L., Dehandschoewercker, E., and Bush, J. W. M. (2014) Violent respiratory events: on coughing and sneezing. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 745: 537-563.


A film by Science Friday

Produced in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Produced and Directed by Emily V. Driscoll and Luke Groskin

Filmed by Luke Groskin

Editing and Animations by Jason Drakeford

Music by Audio Network

Additional Photos and Video by
Lydia Bourouiba, Yongji Wang, Tristan Gilet, Sophie Lejeune, Claire Lu, and Eline Dehandschoewercker
Alamy, Pond5, Shutterstock

Project Advisors:
Laura A. Helft, Laura Bonetta, Dennis W.C. Liu and Sean B. Carroll –  Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Special Thanks to:
Lydia Bourouiba, Christian Skotte, Danielle Dana,  Ariel Zych, Jennfier Fenwick, Timothee Jamin, Stephane Poulain, and Maxime Inizan