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DNA sensors can quickly determine the virus infectivity

  will help curb the spread of the new crown

  Science and Technology Daily, Beijing, September 23 (Reporter Liu Xia) According to a report by the Physicist Organization Network on the 22nd, an international scientific research team composed of scientists from the United States, Argentina and Germany has developed a new type of sensor that integrates a specially designed sensor. The DNA fragment and nanopore sensor can identify and detect infectious viruses within a few minutes without pre-processing virus samples. They verified the capabilities of the new sensor with human adenovirus and new coronavirus. .

The researchers said that this sensor is not only very important for containing the spread of the virus and monitoring the environment, but also helps scientists to further understand the mechanism of infection.

  The latest research leader, Lu Yi from the University of Illinois, said: “Research on the new coronavirus has proved that the level of viral RNA has the smallest relationship with the virus’ infectivity. In the early stages of human infection, the level of viral RNA is low and it is difficult to detect. It is highly infectious. And when a person recovers and is not infectious, viral RNA levels can be very high. Antigen testing follows a similar pattern, so viral RNA and antigen tests are very poor in telling whether the virus is infectious. This It may cause delays in treatment or isolation, or cause people infected with the virus to be released from isolation prematurely."

  The test to detect infectious viruses is called a plaque test, but it requires special preparation and takes several days to get results.

Researchers report that the new sensing method they have developed can give results within 30 minutes to two hours, and because it does not require sample pretreatment, it can be applied to many viruses.

  The researchers said that the ability to distinguish between infectious and non-infectious viruses and detect a small amount of viruses that may contain other contaminants from unprocessed samples is not only for rapid diagnosis of patients who are in the early stage of infection or are still infectious after treatment Very important, and also very important for environmental monitoring.

  Lu Yi said: “This technology can be further expanded to detect other new spreading viral pathogens that have caused public concern, such as Norwalk virus and Enterovirus, or to detect new mutant strains of the new coronavirus. In addition, the DNA used in the sensor is suitable. Ligands can be easily produced by widely used DNA synthesizers, and nanopore sensors are also available on the market, which makes the technology easy to expand."

  Researchers are working to further improve the sensitivity and selectivity of the sensor, and plan to use it in combination with other detection methods.

Because the new technology can distinguish between non-infectious viruses and infectious viruses, researchers hope that this technology will also help understand the mechanism of infection.