BHU’s women scientist discovered new technology to test COVID-19

COVID-19
COVID-19
It is the third week of coronavirus lockdown, India has been fighting with several constraints – including a shortage of hand sanitizers, protective masks, and testing kits.

To cope up with this pandemic disease, several self-help groups, women-led startups, and research bodies have come forward with their unique solutions. Government is also enforcing strict social distancing and taking major steps so that the people of India could rapidly overcome with this situation.

Amidst of this, the Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University has discovered a new technology to test coronavirus (COVID-19) and it is capable to give accurate results within 5-6 hours.

Recently, Government has given a call to all the incubators, startups, scientists and young minds to put their effort at finding solutions to the pandemic disease COVID-19.

“Through this latest method of testing, the results would be available within 5-6 hours. We have got this method patented and approached the (CDSCO) Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for further guidance and support so that it can be taken to the masses,” said BHU’s Associate Professor Geeta Rai, who is leading the research team including three of her students – Doli Das, Khusbu Priya, and Hiral Thacker.

Among them are Banaras Hindu University’s women researchers, who have come up with a low-cost as well as 100% accurate testing method for COVID-19 patients.

The team includes four researchers-

  • Dr. Geeta Rai
  • Dolly Das
  • Hiral Thakar
  • Khushbupriya

The new technology has been developed by an all-women team of BHU’s Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

As per the report, a group of women scientists at the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University had filed a patent on March27, 2020 mentioning that they have developed a quick and safe test method-based on RT PCR (Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) for COVID-19 with 100% accuracy.

According to the research team, this RT PCR (qualitative)-based detection method for coronavirus is committed to rapid detection, accuracy, low cost and no requirement for a probe or high-cost machines.

Usually, most of the coronavirus testing kits require a period of 24 hours for accurate detection. But according to Associate Professor Dr. Geeta Rai, the testing method developed by her team, based on RT PCR (Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction), can provide results in a just a time duration of five to six hours. Furthermore, the technology is reported to be accurate, cost-effective, requiring no probe or cost-heavy machines.

“We have tested a part of COVID-19’s genetic sequence, which is unique to this virus only. And based on Reverse Transcriptase (RT PCR), we have synthesised some primers which target only this region of the virus,” the BHU scientist was quoted.

Surely, it is a ray of hope in the midst of a deadly outbreak. This solution comes just after the Pune-based virologist Minal Dakhave came up with India’s first domestically manufactured COVID-19 test kit.

stay at home, stay safe

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