Riken and others develop five-minute coronavirus test tech

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The government-affiliated Riken scientific institute and other research institutions have announced the development of a technology that detects the novel coronavirus within five minutes, the fastest in the world.

The system is believed to be almost as accurate as current polymerase chain reaction tests, which take at least an hour to produce results. The research was published in international science journal Communications Biology.

In the new method, test samples are put in a mixture of a special enzyme and a reagent. If the samples contain the coronavirus, specific molecules in a substance included in the reagent are cut off by the enzyme activated by the RNA of the virus and emit light, according to the research team.