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Mobile phone app can diagnose viral infection

Unique patterns made by bubbles from a saliva sample are analysed by an algorithm that works through a smartphone's camera
Unique patterns made by bubbles from a saliva sample are analysed by an algorithm that works through a smartphone's camera Unique patterns made by bubbles from a saliva sample are analysed by an algorithm that works through a smartphone's camera

VIRUSES could soon be diagnosed using a tiny drop of saliva via a simple 50-minute test carried out on your mobile phone.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School have developed a system that involves placing a sample of saliva on a microchip that contains hydrogen peroxide, which triggers the production of bubbles.

Each virus produces a unique pattern of bubbles which is then read and analysed by a computer algorithm that works through the camera on a smartphone, identifying the virus.

Writing in the journal Science Advances, the researchers say that the portable tool, still at prototype stage, is 99 per cent accurate. They hope it could help to prevent future pandemics with faster diagnoses.

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