Ali Al-Shehri, a graduate student from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), who is currently on a doctoral scholarship at the University of California, has created an effective and affordable tool to test for COVID-19.
The young student recently invented a breathalyser-like device that will give results in 10 minutes.
Al-Shehri explained, “I was trying to find an effective way to collect water from air for the purpose of desalination, using an unusual way to extract water by condensing it on a treated surface and in large quantities compared to currently used technologies.”
Here's the science bit: the unique device would work much like a breathalyser does, divided into two parts. The individual would simply need breathe into the device for one minute. One part would gather a liquid sample of the virus, while the second part has light radiation that detects if live virus is present. The fluorescent genetic marker inside will light up. Additionally, the device could be used indoor areas such as schools, airports or hospitals.
Ali Al-Shehri and his supervisor in the US, Professor Pirouz Kavehpour, estimated the final invention to be available before 2021.
Photo:Adam Niescioruk for Unsplash