Samsung on Tuesday launched a new smartphone under its Galaxy A series -- Galaxy A05, with a 50MP wide-angle camera in India.
Scientists have developed a new molecular test that can rapidly detect bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19.
The test called ‘Electro-chemical LAMP’ (eLAMP) is affordable, rapid, sensitive and can be performed at home, in a GP surgery or in a hospital lab.
eLAMP has the sensitivity of lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests but, when connected to a smartphone, could be performed at home.
It converts the output of a PCR like test, called LAMP, into a simple electric current for which scientists are already exploring its potential to be further miniaturised into a simple memory stick sized device that could be operated by anyone with an app.
This would allow the test to be performed at home and the result to be instantly sent to health services to monitor the spread of infection, while also providing the patient with immediate advice.
“A key lesson we took from the covid pandemic is how crucial rapid, effective and cheap diagnostic tools that can be used at home are to monitoring and containing infectious diseases,” said Professor Johnjoe McFadden, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey in the UK.
“Our test meets these criteria and can detect lower amounts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus compared to other home-based tests. We are looking for commercial partners to further develop the test and take it to market,” he added.
Researchers tested human blood, saliva, and swabs from the nose and throat and found that their test had a 93.33 per cent detection accuracy rate according to the study published in the journal iScience.
The test also performs well at room temperature, with the ability to bring up results in 45 minutes.
“SARS-CoV-2 is likely to be around for a long time and, unfortunately, new difficult viruses are likely to emerge. It’s crucial to keep working on better ways to test for the coronavirus, and our goal is to further develop our test so that it can be easily used everywhere to help control the disease and prevent future outbreaks,” said Dr Khushboo Borah Slater, co-author of the study.