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Researchers Develop Devices to Speedily Capture and Identify Viruses on Animals

A tool to quickly seize and identify varied strains of virus has been developed, based on researchers at Penn State and New York University.

Presently, virologists predict that 1.67 million unknown viruses are in animals, plenty of which could be transmitted to humans. Recognized viruses, resembling H5N1, Zika, and Ebola, have brought on widespread illness and death. The World Health Organization states that early discovery can stop viruses spread by enabling the speedy deployment of countermeasures.

 This device, called a VIRRION, has a wide range of attainable uses. For farmers, for instance, early detection of a virus in the area can save an entire crop. Early discovery of a virus in livestock can save a herd from sickness. Humans will profit by the detection of microorganisms in minutes rather than in days with current strategies. Due to its size and low price, such a device can be useful in a physician’s office as well as in remote locations when an epidemic occurs.

Professor Elodie Ghedi, a virologist at NYU, says: “The VIRRION enables the rapid improvement of virus particles from any pattern—environmental or clinical—which jump-starts viral characterization. This has applications in virus emergence, virus discovery, and diagnosis. Finally, we hope to use this gadget for the capture and sequencing of single virions, giving us a much better handle on the evolution of the virus in actual time.”

According to Lead author Ying-Ting Yeh, an assistant research professor in the Terrones group, “We synthesized a gradient of aligned carbon nanotube forest arrays to seize different viruses according to their size and detect them in-situ utilizing Raman spectroscopy.”

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