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Aug 27, 2019

Using a smartphone to detect norovirus

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, health, policy

A little bit of norovirus—the highly infectious microbe that causes about 20 million cases of food poisoning in the United States each year—goes a long way. Just 10 particles of the virus can cause illness in humans. A team of University of Arizona researchers has created a simple, portable and inexpensive method for detecting extremely low levels of norovirus.

Jeong-Yeol Yoon, a researcher in the Department of Biomedical Engineering; Soo Chung, a biosystems engineering doctoral student who works in Yoon’s Biosensors Lab; and Kelly A. Reynolds, Chair of the Department of Community, Environment and Policy in the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, led the project. The team published their results in ACS Omega, the official journal of the American Chemical Society, and Yoon is presenting the research at the ACS Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition in San Diego this week.

“Advances in rapid monitoring of human viruses in water are essential for protecting public health,” Reynolds said. “This rapid, low-cost water quality monitoring technology could be a transformational tool for reducing both local and global disease burdens.”

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