Students devise low-cost TB test
Posted by keelynet on April 14, 2009
What a great discovery and by students, this could save a lot of lives!
“Students have invented a small device that can diagnose tuberculosis in seconds, at a cost of less than a dollar — an invention that, if successful, could help eradicate an epidemic that infects millions of people every year in poor countries. The device that looks like little more than a miniature microscope connected to a computer. It allows even an untrained person to diagnose TB by sliding in a stained slide smeared with a patient’s sputum. If the person is infected, TB bacteria glow bright white on a black screen. If the patient is not infected, the screen remains black. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 14 million people have active, infectious TB. In 2007, more than 9 million people developed the disease and 1.75 million died from it. The vast majority of cases are in poor countries in Asia and Africa. The problem is not a lack of treatment. Cheap or even free TB drugs, funded by governments and grants, are available in much of the world. If the disease is caught early, many patients can go on to live healthy lives. The TB test diagnoses instantly, can be read by laypersons, costs less than $1, could have applications for HIV and malaria.” – Source
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