A revolutionary device developed by a team of Cambridge scientists is transforming the diagnosis of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
The machine – known as Samba (simple amplification-based assay) – can tell whether a person is infected with the virus within two hours of them giving a tiny blood sample. Virus carriers can then be offered immediate treatment and advice, reports The Guardian.
The new analyser, the size of a small coffee machine, which was developed by a team led by Cambridge blood scientist Professor Helen Lee, needs no laboratory or trained staff. It can be carried on a motorcycle – often the only method of transport in remote regions – and its reagents can withstand high temperatures and humidity. “Basically, they will still work even if the heat goes above 50C,” said Lee.