A team of US researchers have developed a DNA test that they say can perform a HIV test in less than one minute.
There are various types of HIV tests, but when it comes to DNA testing, it’s a timely process. Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR typically takes two hours or more to perform.
The ability to do one minute PCR test within the real-world requirements for high sensitivity, DNA sequence length, and the size of the test sample is by no means an easy thing to do. Nucleic acid (DNA, RNA) tests are considered a ‘needle-in-a haystack’ type of test.
Very small pieces of infectious material can be taken and magnified so you can actually read it and detect it very, very early on. William Valenti, M.D. has been studying HIV and AIDS for three decades and considers this type of technology being developed a “game changer.”
“The faster we can turn that sort of thing around, the earlier we can get someone into treatment,” Valenti said.
The research team is now hoping to reduce the size of the device and to make it portable and battery operated. This will help diagnose diseases in third world countries where HIV, hepatitis (and) malaria are big problems.
With an estimated 15% of people who are HIV-positive are unaware of their status, our hope is that the one-minute test removes a barrier that prevents people from getting tested regularly.
As new technology advances the speed and accuracy of DNA testing increases, which means that it is becoming more accessible to people on lower incomes. Also it means that research companies have the means to explore other applications of the technology.
For example portable health related DNA testing diagnostic machines which test for a whole range of illnesses helping faster treatment. In recent years we have seen more health related DNA testing becoming available.
DNA test have become available to determine your probability of you catching a serious health related illness later in life. People now use this knowledge to style their lifestyle in an effort to avoid this illness.