16 January, 2024
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe in early 2020, a group of researchers at KAUST repurposed readily available equipment and chemicals to produce a homegrown robotic system to extract and sequence the viral RNA. The system could also be used to track the emergence of new virus variants, be applied to other viral threats and perhaps eventually diagnose genetic disorders.
“With global supply chains broken or unreliable, we wanted to see whether we could utilize our research lab facilities for an emergency response and also produce all the necessary materials ourselves rather than relying on commercial vendors from overseas,” says research scientist Raik Grünberg. “We are now much more ready for the next pandemic.”