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Scientists develop biosensor to detect COVID-19 variants within 30 min.

(Korea Institute of Science and Technology)
(Korea Institute of Science and Technology)
A group of South Korean scientists developed a screening biosensor that can detect COVID-19 variants within 30 minutes, whose test results are as accurate as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, a state-run science institute said Wednesday.

The team led by Lee Kwan-hyi of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) developed the highly sensitive and portable biosensor to screen variants through angiotensin-converting enzyme called ACE2.

ACE2 is a virus receptor shared by all known COVID-19 variants.

A PCR test, currently the most-used, is a molecular test that looks for the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus. The results of a PCR test usually take at least a few hours.

The developed biosensor successfully detects COVID-19 in 30 minutes and showed sensitivity comparable to that of PCR tests, the KIST said.

On Wednesday, South Korea's daily COVID-19 infections reached yet another grim milestone of over 13,000 as fears worsened over the rapid spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant. (Yonhap)

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