Innovative, more accurate coronavirus test proposed by Technion


A new testing method for the coronavirus, proposed in a recent study published by the Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, headed by Professor Amit Meller, could pave the way to more accurate testing. A commercialization process is currently in the works in the hopes of making it readily available to the general public as soon as possible. In a regular PCR test a swab sample is taken from the patient, then RNA is extracted and sequenced into DNA form. That sequence is then amplified via a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Once there are millions of copies, the presence of the virus can be detected. But this method has drawbacks which the researchers hope to redress. The challenge in requiring a large sample body to detect the virus is that the chance for error magnifies with the number of samples. Additionally, sometimes the viral RNA presence is quite low, which makes it harder to detect and easier to miss. The proposed method is overcomes these drawbacks. Instead of taking a massive sample size it proposes utilizing original technology from Professor Meller’s lab group, in the form of nanofabricated holes, or “nanopores,” to analyze individual molecules. That ensures a smaller sample size and greater accuracy. The molecules pass through an electric sensor, during which they give off a singular and unique electric signature. It would also strip away the other molecules, leaving the target ones intact, contributing to the greater precision of the tests. The proposition is to apply this technology to coronavirus tests, making the process quicker and more accurate. The end-goal is to make the test portable, lessening the work necessary in the lab.”We have shown that our technology preserves the level of genetic expression of the original RNA molecules throughout the entire process,” said Professor Meller. “In this way,

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion has set a world record in light enhancement — ScienceDaily


Physical Review X recently reported on a new optical resonator from the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology that is unprecedented in resonance enhancement. Developed by graduate student Jacob Kher-Alden under the supervision of Professor Tal Carmon, the Technion-born resonator has record-breaking capabilities in resonance enhancement.

A resonator is a device that traps waves and enhances or echoes them by reflecting them from wall to wall in a process called resonant enhancement. Today, there are complex and sophisticated resonators of various kinds throughout the world, as well as simple resonators familiar to all of us. Examples of this include the resonator box of a guitar, which enhances the sound produced by the strings, or the body of a flute, which enhances the sound created in the mouthpiece of the instrument.

The guitar and flute are acoustic resonators in which the sound reverberates between the walls of the resonator. In physics, there are also optical resonators, such as in laser devices. A resonator is, in fact, one of the most important devices in optics: “It’s the transistor of optics,” said Prof. Carmon.

Generally speaking, resonators need at least two mirrors to multiply reflected light (just like at the hairdressing salon). But they can also hold more than two mirrors. For example, three mirrors can be used to reflect the light in a triangular shape, four in a square, and so on. It is also possible to arrange a lot of mirrors in an almost circular shape so that the light circulates. The more mirrors in the ring, the closer the structure becomes that of a perfect circle.

But this is not the end of the story, as the ring restricts the movement of light to a single plane. The solution is a spherical structure, which allows light to rotate on all