Scientists and researchers may not need to use surfaces to collect DNA in the future. Researchers at Queen Mary University have shown that “environmental DNA” (eDNA) can be collected from the air, Science Focus reports.
The team used a peristaltic pump coupled with pressure filters to extract DNA samples that scattered bare mole for five to twenty minutes. He then used standard kits to find and sequence the genes in the resulting samples. This method not only detected the DNA of mole rats (both in their nests and widely in the room), but also captured some of the human DNA.
Could work for Covid-19
Lead author Dr. Elizabeth Claire stated that the study was originally aimed at helping ecologists study biological environments. It is stated that with adequate development, however, the invention will be usable for much more.
Forensic units, for example, can take DNA from the air to determine if a suspect is present at a crime scene. Also in medicine, virologists and epidemiologists can understand how airborne viruses (like the one behind COVID-19) spread.
It is stated that the invention realized is far from any practical use. However, the research unit continues to work with private companies such as NatureMetrics to develop practical applications. It is also stated that it can be very useful to have this option in cases where surfaces do not give clear answers.
How do you evaluate this invention made by scientists? Do you think it will speed up situations such as the detection of infectious diseases and the detection of criminals? You can share your ideas with us in the comments.