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New device to capture and identify viruses developed
TIWN
New device to capture and identify viruses developed
PHOTO : TIWN

New York, Dec 24 (TIWN) Researchers have developed a device to quickly capture and identify various strains of virus.

"We have developed a fast and inexpensive handheld device that can capture viruses based on size," said study researcher Mauricio Terrones from Penn State University.  "Our device uses arrays of nanotubes engineered to be comparable in size to a wide range of viruses. We then use Raman spectroscopy to identify the viruses based on their individual vibration," Terrones added. 

This device, called a VIRRION, has a wide range of possible uses. For farmers, for example, early detection of a virus in the field can save an entire crop. Early detection of a virus in livestock can save a herd from illness.  Humans also will benefit by the detection of viruses in minutes rather than in days with current methods.  According to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, because of its size and low cost, such a device would be useful in every doctor''s office as well as in remote locations when disease outbreaks occur.  Currently, virologists estimate that 1.67 million unknown viruses are in animals, a number of which can be transmitted to humans.  Known viruses, such as H5N1, Zika and Ebola have caused widespread illness and death.  The World Health Organisation states that early detection can halt virus spread by enabling rapid deployment of countermeasures.

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