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IGIB scientists developed low cost COVID-19 test

Scientists at the CSIR’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology have come up with a low-cost coronavirus test that will not require any expensive machines for detection of the pathogen.

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The device ‘Feluda’ was named after the detective character in legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s stories.

The test was developed by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti. It is expected that this test will be a simpler way of detecting SARS-coV2 presence in clinical samples.

The start of the test method is similar to the real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), where the ribonucleic acid (RNA) is extracted and converted into DNA.

But the newly developed method differs by using a specifically designed PCR reaction to amplify a part of the viral nucleic acid sequence. After this, a highly specific CRISPR, FnCAS9 binds to that sequence which can be visualized as a positive band. CRISPR, FnCAS9 were developed at IGIB.

The method uses fluorescent reporters, to amplify and detect viral nucleic acid presence.

The total time required for the test is less than one hour.

Implementation of the method requires expensive Real-Time PCR machines that are available at specialized sites.

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