Science

HIV Diagnosis Can Now Be Done Through A Plug-In USB Stick

By Sai , Nov 11, 2016 10:50 PM EST
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Scientists have recently come up with a type of HIV test that uses a USB stick that promises to give a fast and highly accurate diagnosis of how much virus is present in a patient's blood. Researchers from Imperial College of London have teamed up with UK biotech company DNA Electronics in developing a kind of a USB stick, which offers more effective way of detecting whether a person is infected with HIV virus within a fraction of the time as compared to the usual tests being used today which can take up more time.

The USB Chip And Its Features: Is It Even Accurate In Diagnosing HIV?

According to Daily Mail, like the current measures being used today, the new device is also said to effectively determine the amount of virus through the patient's blood sample. In the journal Scientific Reports, it explains that what is so special about the USB chip is that it has the ability of immediately giving out the results and there is no need to wait for days anymore.

A clinician scientist at Imperial and senior author of the research, Dr. Graham Cooke has also claimed that in the last 20 years, HIV treatment has significantly improved wherein a lot of people diagnosed of having the disease are now found to have a life expectancy as that of a typical person's life span.

How Does HIV Diagnosis With USB Stick Work?

On the other hand, Engadgets has also reported that the USB stick is actually powered by a mobile phone chip that only requires a small amount of blood to be able to accurately conduct its analysis. It was found that when the device detects an HIV virus, the USB stick then creates a change in acidity level which in turn, is then being converted into an electrical signal. Furthermore, the electrical signal will then be expected to translate it into certain reading program software through a computer or other electronic devices.

Recently, during the last series of trials conducted, the USB stick was found to have given 1,000 samples having 95 percent accuracy. However, while experts are still continuously working for the perfect cure to the said disease, it was highly emphasized that the research could still go through a long process before it can be considered a success.

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