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S. Korea scientists develop kit that cuts down coronavirus testing from 6 hours to 20 minutes

/ 04:05 PM April 09, 2020

DGIST via The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

SEOUL — South Korean scientists in Daegu have developed a diagnostic kit that will cut down the COVID-19 testing time from previous six hours to 20 minutes.

This diagnostic agent has been transferred to a diagnostic kit maker called Mmonitor, whose website crashed due to heavy traffic as of 11 a.m., Thursday, upon the announcement by Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology.

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According to DGIST, its new diagnostic agent makes it possible to amplify genetic information of the coronavirus at a constant 60 degrees Celsius, drastically cutting the time from conventional real-time PCR method.

When RT-PCR test kits amplify the genes to test virus infection, the machinery cranks up temperature to 90 degrees Celsius, then lowers it to 60 degrees, and repeats for 40 times.

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During the processing time, a patient must wait four to six hours to learn the result. The machinery requires some 50 million won ($41,000) investment.

As DGIST’s technology requires no expensive temperature maintenance, new devices that must accompany the kit will cost less than 1 million won ($822), the university research center said.

This breakthrough achievement was enabled based on a memorandum of understanding formed between DGIST and Mmonitor in 2018 to collaborate on diagnostic devices and kits development.

Mmonitor recently signed a deal with GC Pharma MS for expedited exports of its Isopollo COVID-19 kits.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, COVID-19 Diagnostic Test, South korea, US
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