It has been observed quite a lot that people of developing countries are mostly diagnosed with different types of diseases. Improper care and treatment leads them to painful sufferings or even proves fatal. When virus like HIV or tuberculosis hit any backward region of developing country, that region of that territory becomes a dead land. The improvement in technology has introduced a device which is portable and can diagnose any such deadly disease, which can put a bar against its motion.
What is the diagnostic device?
The latest invention by a team of experienced biologist and professor is the PCR machine or Polymerase Chain Reaction machine. The PCR machine is a small and portable device which is capable of detecting such diseases with ease. The machine is easy to operate and can be packed and moved to remote areas for such operation.
The invention of the device through stages:
The research started in the year 2004 under the supervision of Scherer (leader in microfluidics) and his student George Maltezos (PhD 2007) at Caltech. The research was based on how to introduce biological fluids into technology in the real world issues. H5N1 bird flu had erupted in Asia and the scholars took the advantage to operate their invention into real world scenario. PCR machine played a crucial role in diagnosing the diseases by taking small amount of sample for tests. However, the machine was too expensive for the hospitals in the developing countries to purchase.
Nobel laureate Baltimore’s approach brought a new turn in this research field. The PCR machine was now claimed to detect the deadly viruses like HIV. The new version of the machine was introduced in the year 2006 which can evaluate the test in only 94 seconds. The price of the machine was also reduced abruptly and it got global recognition. Still, the size was big enough to carry it to remote areas to diagnose the underprivileged people as well as to treat them.
Finally the machine arrived which was portable, robust, inexpensive, automated as well as fast. The one was operated with rechargeable battery and can be carried to any destination around the world. The latest model was capable to diagnosis HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, lower-respiratory diseases, diarrhoea and many more life talking diseases in no time. Even the cost of the PCR machine dropped down to almost $1000.
How the machine works:
The machine works on the sample DNA and produces thousands of multiple copies of that DNA. Under certain temperature the double stranded DNA splits into single strand. The duplicate copies of the DNA show the result within a short span of time and indicate the diagnosis results. This helps to identify the disease efficiently.
The invention was a miracle for the betterment of global health. Poor, under privileged and under developed communities who are deprived from the technical boon can heal up under the ease of the diagnosis of this machine. In true sense PCR device is a cheap, portable and fast way to diagnose in the developing countries.
- Doing Extension PCRs Differently (victoriafang.wordpress.com)
- Biomeme Wants To Turn Your iOS Device Into A Disease-Detecting Mobile DNA Lab (techcrunch.com)
- Open PCR: DNA Experiments for DIY Enthusiasts (latestgadgets.co.uk)
- Universal HIV Screening at Postnatal Points of Care: Which Public Health Approach for Early Infant Diagnosis in Côte d’Ivoire? (plosone.org)
- Mobile DNA lab pairs Arduino and iPhone (adafruit.com)