As the Omicron variant spreads to more parts of the world, a team of researchers in South Korea developed a new technology that can detect the variant in about 20 to 30 minutes.
According to a report by news agency ANI, a team led by Professor Lee Jung-wook from Pohang University of Science and Technology announced on Friday that they have developed a molecular diagnostic technology that can detect the variant, which has over 30 mutations present on the spike protein of the Coronavirus.
The method is said to be more effective than a regular PCR test, which cannot detect ‘stealth Omicron.’ “Omicron has a strong signal for N genes in PCR tests but has a weak signal for S genes. In the case of ‘Stealth Omicron,’ both N and S genes confirmed positive, making it difficult to distinguish from other variants,” Lee explained.
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While existing methods only scanned specific areas of the virus, the new molecular diagnostic technology “was designed to cause nucleic acid-binding reactions only when the Covid-19 RNA exists, enabling rapid detection.” Similarly, the detection technology currently being used processes 96 samples per device, as opposed to the newly developed Korean device that can process over 250 samples per hour.
Another advantage of this technology is that it does not require any special equipment.
“I hope the disclosure of this technology will help us return to normal daily life as soon as possible,” the professor was quoted as saying.
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