Testing for HIV may become a lot easier and cheaper in the coming days. Researchers from the Imperial College of London along with UK biotech company DNA Electronics have developed a USB stick that can measure the accurate number of HIV-1 antibodies in a person’s blood.
The device needs just a drop of blood to begin the test. It then detects the level of HIV-1 and changes the result into an electrical signal which can be fed into the computer or mobile. The entire process takes less than 30 minutes whereas the regular lab tests requires almost a full day.
The device can be of great help to those who are already aware of their HIV infection as they can keep an eye on their treatment by monitoring their blood more effectively. The device can help timely detection of HIV antibodies in patient’s blood and help them see the effectiveness of the treatment that they may be undergoing.
This HIV testing USB stick can also play a vital role in the remote parts of the world where there is poor medical assistance and lack of laboratory infrastructure. The device is compatible with any portable device and requires no other power supply point.
Also it is a disposable detection system and needs no complex configuration or maintenance. According to journal Scientific Reports , the device is cheap to manufacture using standard silicon-chip production methods.
While this USB stick comes from the Imperial College which is known as a public research university in London, several tech companies like Google and Microsoft, names which are usually associated with software and programs, have also surprised us with their recent announcements.
Microsoft has said that it will find a solution to cancer in five to 10 years whereas Google had earlier announced that it was working on experimental contact lens that would detect blood sugar levels without requiring drop of blood.
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