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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-III :
  • 13 August, 2020

  • 5 Min Read

Mega labs to boost COVID-19 testing

‘Mega labs’ to boost COVID-19 testing

Introduction:

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is working on developing mega labs to ramp up testing for COVID-19 as well as improve the accuracy rate.
  • The labs will be repurposing large machines, called Next Generation Sequencing machines (NGS).

Advantages:

  • The mega labs will sequence 1,500 to 3,000 viral genomes at a go to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • Used optimally and with appropriate modifications, these machines can substantially detect the presence of the virus even in several instances where the traditional RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests fail.
  • The genome method can read a bigger chunk of virus genome and provide more certainty that the virus in question is indeed the particular coronavirus of interest.
  • It can also trace the evolutionary history of the virus and track mutations more reliably.
  • While RT-PCR needs primers and probes (a key hurdle in operationalizing such tests on a mass scale early on in the pandemic), the NGS only needs custom reagents.

What is Next Generation Sequencing ?

  • NGS – massively parallel or deep sequencing are related terms that describe a DNA sequencing technology which has revolutionised genomic research.
  • NGS are normally used for sequencing human genomes.
  • Using NGS an entire human genome can be sequenced within a single day.

Source: TH


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