Developed by a group of researchers led by this year's Nobel Prize WInner in Chemistry, Jennifer Doudna. It could facilitate diagnoses and lighten the workload of laboratories and hospitals. It is more reliable than other tests on the market. The case of Peru, which bought tests mainly from China and is now the nation with the highest death rate due to Covid worldwide.
Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A group of Californian researchers has developed a test that can effectively detect the coronavirus in 5 minutes. The speed is due to the use that is made of genetic technology and a modified smartphone camera.
The team of researchers belongs to Berkeley UNiversity, led by Dr Jennifer Doudna, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year, together with Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Charpentier.
Until now, most Covid-19 tests need at least 24 hours for the elaboration of results. Due to the spread of the virus and the tests, very often people have to wait 3 or 4 days to receive a positive or negative diagnosis.
There is also a problem of reliability. The tests that are currently on the market, developed after the first coronavirus waves, have up to 30% inaccuracy.
One example above all others: last March in Peru, to tackle the crisis from Covid, President Martin Vizcarra bought 1.6 million tests (for antibodies) mostly from China. Due to their scarce reliability, Peru is now the nation with the world's highest death rate due to Covid. Doctors think that the unreliability of the tests is one of the reasons for this record.
The Berkeley test is not yet on the market. For now, what is known is that it is based on the discovery of the virus with genetic technology tools, without DNA amplification. A mobile phone camera, transformed into a laser with a small device, can reveal the presence of the virus and also its intensity. The test can also be done at home, individually, thus skipping the long queues at laboratories and hospitals.