UPLB Alumna Leads COVID-19 Mass Testing Tech in Switzerland

The mass testing tech is called "HiDRA-seq."
by Bernadette Rivera   |  Aug 7, 2020
Image: Catharine Aquino-Fournier
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Remember when the scientists from UP-Manila developed COVID-19 mass testing kits that can accommodate up to 120,000 tests with results ready in two hours? Another UP alumna is currently doing the same-- in Switzerland. 

Her name is Catharine Aquino-Fournier, a Biology and Genetics graduate from UP-Los Banos who is leading the development of COVID-19 mass testing technology in Switzerland that they called HiDRA-seq. HiDRA-seq detects the novel coronavirus using a DNA sequencing technology called Next Generation Sequencing that is used to determine the DNA of an organism. Like swab tests, HiDRA-seq also counts the amount of virus in the swab sample. The difference of it to rapid tests is that it detects the virus itself, not the response of the human body to the virus.

Although it’s promising, according to her, the application is not yet “peer-reviewed" but they already published it for experts to read for feedback so they can optimize and improve the methods. 

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If you want to know more about Catharine and HiDRA-seq, watch this video:

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