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This technology will save the world from next “Disease X” pandemic worse than coronavirus

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Researchers unveil a new futuristic smartphone that will allow the users to virtually scan their blood to identify germs that will allow them to prevent the onset of next ‘Disease X’ or Covid like viruses, according to the researchers.

Technological advancements have become an integral part of research and development, and more so our living. While, there’s a boom in the scientific researchers to combat the pandemic and its effects, technology is also playing its equivalent significant role.

In a bid to prevent the spread of any such disease as COVID-19, or at least to subtle the severity of such an outbreak, the scientists have come up with the concept of futuristic smartphones that will allow the users to virtually screen their blood and help identify any threatening germs.

Such technology, they believe, will help curtail the spreading of ‘disease X‘ across the countries. The scientists have designed a prototype that is built with what they call a ‘state-of-the-art microscope’ that is capable of virtually identifying germs that can cause a threat, or are indicative of an unusual disease.

The researchers said that people can scan their blood using the device, and get harmful viruses and bacteria identified. The DNA fragments in the individual’s blood will be detected through the technology that involves ‘DNA-based nano-antenna’

This antenna will be fixed into the camera to develop sensitivity in identifying the particles of DNA in the blood. Small lenses and lasers are the only requisites to help the functioning of this technology, as suggested by the experts from a German institute called Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Munich.

Chairperson of the Physical Chemistry at LMU, Prof. Phillip Tinnefeld said: “The past year has shown that there is always a need for new and innovative diagnostic methods, and perhaps our technology can one day contribute to the development of an inexpensive and reliable diagnostic test that can be carried out at home.”

The need for the development of the prototype was felt in the wake of fears relating to a new pathogen, a disease X that can destroy mankind.

Dr Viktorija Glembockyte, the primary author of the study said that the technology could be used for the purpose of diagnostic tests even in areas where electricity and laboratory equipment is inaccessible. 

“We have shown that we can directly detect small fragments of DNA in blood serum, using a portable, smartphone-based microscope that runs on a conventional USB power pack to monitor the assay,” Glembockyte added

Dr Glembockyte and her team of researchers built the model by fixing smartphone-like cameras with lasers and lenses. Their prototype could successfully diagnose shreds of DNA that were particular to antibiotic-resistant genes in the bacteria. The model could also be transformed to diagnose a virus and a wide range of other targets.

The scientists also explained that the technology can be utilized to identify if the bacteria is a strain that is resistant to drugs. Such strain, the scientists worry, is capable of giving rise to irreversible diseases and result in a global outbreak that is far more dangerous and life-threatening than the COVID-19.

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