National Chung Cheng University said it is getting ready to file patents for a device developed by its students that detects the African swine fever virus.
The invention won silver at this year’s International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, which took place this month, the school said on Thursday.
The goal of the competition was to create localized solutions for local problems.
Photo copied by Tsai Tsung-hsun, Taipei Times
Team leader Wang Wei-cheng (王瑋晟) said the best way to prevent the virus from spreading is to shorten the time it takes to diagnose it.
The current average time — from when a sample is taken to the final diagnosis — is 10 days. The machine shortens this time frame to just three to seven days, he said.
The machine is an automated, portable, robotic-testing instrument they call ASFAST, Wang said.
The machine includes a mini-lab that employs the specialized functions of the CRISPR-Cas system and fluorescent dye PicoGreen, the team said.
The invention has piqued the interest of several companies, and the team will be applying for patents on the technology as soon as it finishes final calibrations on the machine, the school said.
To date, about 10 nations in the Asia region have declared the presence of the virus, the Council of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said.
Meat products from China and Vietnam have tested positive for the virus, indicating that the two nations have not yet contained the outbreak, the bureau said.
Taiwan and Japan are the only two countries in Asia that have not yet reported any infections, it added.
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