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What is the ‘Feluda’ test for Covid-19 approved by India?

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What is the ‘Feluda’ test for Covid-19 approved by India?


Feluda is the acronym for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay.

  • It is an accurate and low-cost paper-based test strip to detect Covid-19 in less than 30 minutes.
  • It was approved recently for commercial launch by the Drugs Controller General of India.
  • Developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Tata Group.

How it works?

It uses indigenously developed CRISPR gene-editing technology to identify and target the genetic material of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

Significance:

  • According to CSIR, the test matches accuracy levels of RT-PCR tests.
  • It has a quicker turnaround time and requires less expensive equipment.
  • ‘Feluda’ is also the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus.

What is CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) technology?

It is a gene editing technology and finds its use in correcting genetic defects and treating and preventing the spread of diseases.

  • The technology can detect specific sequences of DNA within a gene and uses an enzyme functioning as molecular scissors to snip it.
  • It also allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function.
  • The technology can also be configured for detection of multiple other pathogens in the future.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Feluda test?
  2. What is CRISPR technology?
  3. What is RT-PCR test?
  4. Other tests related to Covid-19.

Mains Link:

What is Feluda Test for COVID-19? How is it carried out? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.