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Tecan Journal

Selected category: SARS-CoV-2

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Flexing Automation Capabilities

Many diagnostic laboratories rely on PCR-based tests to identify a range of illnesses, from gastrointestinal and respiratory infections to tropical diseases. However, processing the samples manually can be time consuming and prone to errors, limiting the number of tests that can be carried out in a day. Automation can increase throughput, but is not always practical for smaller laboratories that do not need to run hundreds or thousands of samples at a time looking for the same pathogen. Certest Biotec – a Spanish biotechnology company – has developed the VIASURE V-Flex, an automated and flexible workstation for nucleic acid extraction and PCR set-up, that can be used to run multiple different PCR reactions on a single plate.

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Generating a cellular infection model for monitoring SARS-CoV-2 replication

Work to characterize and further understand the molecular pathology of SARSCoV- 2 became a focus for many virology departments following the identification of the novel virus responsible for COVID-19. Drs Marek Widera, Alexander Wilhelm and colleagues at University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany, turned their attention to developing an in vitro cell culture model that could realistically mimic the viral replication cycle, to decipher the mechanism of COVID-19 infection.

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Automating a herd of tests

The COVID-19 pandemic is an important reminder that pathogens are not only transmitted via air and contact with other humans, but also from animals and through food. This highlights the need for effective diagnostic tools that offer fast testing of animal and environmental samples to help monitor livestock and aquaculture. Qualyse is a French company that does exactly this, using advanced laboratory automation to provide immunoserology and molecular diagnostic testing for up to 12,000 samples a day.

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