Phone swabs can accurately detect COVID-19
Peer-reviewed | experimental study | people
(Press-News.org) An accurate, non-invasive, and low-cost method of testing for COVID-19 using samples taken from the screens of mobile phones has been developed by a team led by UCL researchers at Diagnosis Biotech. The study, published in eLife and led by Dr Rodrigo Young (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology), analysed swabs from smartphone screens rather than directly from people, and found that people who tested positive by the regular nasal swabbing PCRs were also positive when samples were taken from phone screens. The new method - known as Phone Screen Testing (PoST) - detected the COVID-19 virus on the phones of 81 to 100% of contagious people with a high viral load, suggesting it is as accurate as antigen lateral flow tests. Globally active screening for COVID-19 is still a priority as new variants keep emerging and the vaccination rollout is not guaranteed in many countries. However, testing is expensive and can be physically unpleasant, both of which are significant hurdles on the road to an effective test and trace system. As PoST is an environmental test, rather than a clinical test, it is both non-invasive and less expensive that a traditional nasal swabbing PCR. This means not only is it suitable for rollout in lower-income countries, but it also removes the discomfort of current COVID-19 testing options, potentially increasing take-up of regular testing among the general population. In addition, PoST sampling takes less than a minute and does not require medical personnel, which eases mass adoption in big facilities and large-scale applications. Dr Rodrigo Young said: "Like many, I was very worried about the economic and social impact that the pandemic would leave behind, particularly in lower-income countries. We knew that the only effective way to stop the spreading is to regularly test as many people as possible, but this was not happening because it's too expensive and uncomfortable. "We immediately knew this was something special, as PoST is a method that would not only make COVID-19 mass testing much easier but could also be used to contain outbreaks of new naturally occurring and man-made viruses, to avoid future pandemics." Diagnosis Biotech, a Chilean startup founded by UCL's Dr Young, has been performing COVID-19 screenings in companies and schools in Chile to avoid outbreaks and maintain operational continuity, as frequent measurement of all workers or students allows the early identification of asymptomatic people and helps to control the spread of the virus. A machine is currently under development by Diagnosis Biotech which will build on this research, safely taking a phone for PoST sampling and deliver the results directly via SMS to minimise contact.
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Use of additional Metop-C and Fengyun-3 C/D data improves regional weather forecasts
Modern weather forecasts rely heavily on data retrieved from numerical weather prediction models. These models continue to improve and have advanced considerably throughout more than half a century. However, forecast reliability depends on the quality and accuracy of initialization data, or a sample of the current global atmosphere when the model run is started. This process of bringing surface observations, radiosonde data, and satellite imagery together to create a picture of the initial atmospheric state is called data assimilation. Satellite upgrades have significantly improved this process, providing more data than ever before. Several recent studies show ...
Rare genetic defect replicated in fish model
A rare genetic defect that affects the so-called ALG2 gene can cause serious metabolic diseases in humans. It does so through the defective formation of proteins and sugar molecules. Until now, its rareness and complexity made it difficult to study this congenital glycosylation disorder. A research team led by Prof. Dr Joachim Wittbrodt and Dr Thomas Thumberger from the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University has finally succeeded in introducing the underlying mutation in the ALG2 gene in a fish model, thus allowing the causes of these complex diseases to be studied at the molecular level. Human cells are kept alive by the activity of millions of proteins. As they mature, these proteins ...
A novel energy storage solution featuring pipes and anchors
What do pipes and anchors have to do with storing energy? More than you might think! A new IIASA-led study explored the potential of a lesser known, but promising sustainable energy storage system called Buoyancy Energy Storage. There is general consensus that renewable energy sources will play an important role in ensuring a healthier and more sustainable future for the planet and its people, and many countries are indeed already seeing such technologies displacing "dirty" fossil fuels in the power sector in an effort to lower emissions. The biggest problem with renewable energy sources, however, is that power supply is intermittent, meaning that the energy output at any given time does not necessarily meet the demand at that time. ...
Machine learning aids earthquake risk prediction
Our homes and offices are only as solid as the ground beneath them. When that solid ground turns to liquid -- as sometimes happens during earthquakes -- it can topple buildings and bridges. This phenomenon is known as liquefaction, and it was a major feature of the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, a magnitude 6.3 quake that killed 185 people and destroyed thousands of homes. An upside of the Christchurch quake was that it was one of the most well-documented in history. Because New Zealand is seismically active, the city was instrumented ...
Major risk of eye injuries from padel, research ophthalmologists say
Several eye clinics around Sweden are seeing a rise in eye damage related to the racket sport padel. In an article in the Journal of the Swedish Medical Association (Läkartidningen), eye researchers affiliated with the University of Gothenburg state that padel is a potential high-risk sport for eye injuries, and that wearing protective goggles is a good idea. Ball sports are often associated with an increased risk of eye injuries, and the risk seems to be even greater with padel, a sport that is now highly popular in Sweden (and should not be confused with the North American "paddle tennis"). "The ...
Magneto-thermal imaging brings synchrotron capabilities to the lab
ITHACA, N.Y. - Coming soon to a lab tabletop near you: a method of magneto-thermal imaging that offers nanoscale and picosecond resolution previously available only in synchrotron facilities. This innovation in spatial and temporal resolution will give researchers extraordinary views into the magnetic properties of a range of materials, from metals to insulators, all from the comfort of their labs, potentially boosting the development of magnetic storage devices. "Magnetic X-ray microscopy is a relatively rare bird," said Greg Fuchs, associate professor of applied and engineering physics, who led the project. "The magnetic ...
Novel lncRNA, Caren, counteracts heart failure progression
A research collaboration based in Kumamoto University (Japan) has identified a novel lncRNA, Caren, that is abundantly expressed in cardiomyocytes. They showed that it enhances energy production by increasing the number of mitochondria in cardiomyocytes, and inhibits activation of the ATM protein, a key player in the DNA damage response pathway that accelerates heart failure severity. Caren RNA in cardiomyocytes is reduced by aging and high blood pressure (hypertension), which can lead to heart failure, and markedly reduced in the hearts of heart failure patients. The researchers believe that ...
2.5 grammes of pure cocoa found to improve visual acuity in daylight
Eating 2.5 grams of pure natural cocoa powder serves to improve visual acuity in healthy young adults and in daylight conditions, according to research by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and the ICTAN (Institute of Food and Nutrition Science and Technology) of the CSIC. The study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, analyse the effects of two dietary polyphenols: cocoa flavanols and red berry anthocyanins. "Although this was the baseline hypothesis, we did not see any effect either on adaptation to darkness or on visual acuity measured in low light conditions (mesopic vision), either with cocoa or with berries," indicates María Cinta Puell Marín, researcher at the Optometry and Vision ...
Higher selenium and manganese levels during pregnancy may protect babies from future high blood pressure
Children who were exposed to higher levels of trace minerals manganese and selenium during their mothers' pregnancy had a lower risk of high blood pressure in childhood, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers analyzed the levels of toxic metals and trace minerals in blood samples drawn from nearly 1,200 women in the Boston area who gave birth between 2002 and 2013. They found that higher levels of selenium or manganese in the mothers' blood were associated with lower blood pressure readings in their children ...
Blood test promising for predicting response in metastatic HPV-positive throat cancer
A sensitive blood test being developed by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center shows promise for predicting whether patients with metastatic HPV-positive throat cancer will respond to treatment months earlier than standard imaging scans. That's according to a study, published in Oncotarget, validating the test in a small group of patients with metastatic human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma -- a type of head and neck cancer that develops in the back of the mouth and in the throat. If the test can quickly determine that a treatment approach isn't ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic
New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer
Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase
Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring
Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights
Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions
Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility
Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults
65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription
Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy
Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose
Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots
Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism
International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic
International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics
Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest
Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience
Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ
New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research
Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer
Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed
Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children
Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus
Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping
New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul
Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells
Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas
Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera
The mechanics of puncture finally explained
Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests[Press-News.org] Phone swabs can accurately detect COVID-19
Peer-reviewed | experimental study | people