Pinay, nanguna sa pagbuo ng COVID-19 testing technology sa Switzerland

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PHOTO: University of the Philippines Los Baños

Pinangungunahan ng isang Filipina at alumna ng University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) ang isinusulong na COVID-19 mass testing technology sa Switzerland, ayon sa unibersidad nitong Martes.

Si Catharine Aquino-Fournier, graduate ng BS Biology at may master’s degree sa genetics, ang naatasang lider ng application na HiDRA-seq sa Functional Genomic Center Zurich (FGCZ) na core facility ng University of Zurich at ng Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Sa panayam ng radio program ng UPLB, ipinaliwanag ni Aquino-Fournier na nade-detect ng HiDRA-seq ang coronavirus gamit ang Next Generation Sequencing na kayang tumukoy ng DNA sequence o fingerprint ng isang cell o organism.

Halos kapareho raw ito ng real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT–PCR), liban sa hindi na ito dumadaan sa extraction ng generic material–na nakakabawas ng oras.

“The difference is that [while] in rRT-PCR, the output is a fluorescent intensity, in our test, the output is COVID-specific sequences. Since we have the sequences, we can determine the strain of the virus depending on the mutations that we find,” sabi ng alumna.




“In the technology we developed, we are trying to skip the part of extracting the genetic material and get it straight from saliva, or gargles, or directly from the swab,” aniya pa.

Dagdag ni Aquino-Fournier, mayroon ding built-in contact tracing function ang binubuo nilang sistema at kayang mag-proseso ng hanggang 100,000 samples sa isang bagsakan.

Gayunpaman, nilinaw ng Pinay na tulad ng ibang nabuong tests para sa bagong virus, hindi matitiyak na 100 percent accurate ang resulta rito.

Sa ngayon, mayroon ng higit 32,000 kumpirmadong COVID-19 cases sa Switzerland.