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San Francisco researchers discover new COVID-19 detection technique that uses smartphone camera

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Researchers hailing from Gladstone Institute and University of California in the US are developing a new method of rapid COVID-19 testing, and one component it uses is one you already have in your person—your smartphone camera.

According to one of the researchers, bioengineer Dan Fletcher, phone cameras have advanced to the point they can more than match the capabilities of laboratory instruments.

When it comes to the coronavirus, many phones have cameras sensitive enough to detect a florescent signal to indicate the presence of the virus.

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There’s a catch though. The virus doesn’t naturally emit this florescent signal unless it’s accompanied by a specific protein, one created from genome editing tool known as CRISPR.

Should the research show further promise and viability, the researchers believe this new technique can be used along with swabbing to help detect the virus faster, especially in crowded areas such as airports and schools.

Source: ABC News

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