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Researchers are using ostrich eggs to develop masks that glow around the coronavirus

The team has been using antibodies from ostrich eggs injected with inactive coronavirus.

Getty Images / diephosi

  • Researchers in Japan are working on masks that glow if they detect the coronavirus.
  • The masks glow under ultraviolet light if they come into contact with the virus.
  • The team has been using ostrich eggs to work on developing the masks.

Researchers are constantly looking for new ways to detect the coronavirus. 

In addition to PCR and antigen testing, teams across the globe have worked on symptom apps, thermographic cameras, animals, biosensors.

A group of researchers from Kyoto Prefectural University is in the process of developing yet another new method.

They’re currently working on making masks that glow under ultraviolet light if they contain traces of coronavirus, and they’ve already been tested with promising results in a small study.

The team, led by president Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, took antibodies from the eggs of female ostriches that had been injected with inactive coronavirus.

Ostriches were chosen as they’re able to produce multiple different types of antibodies, according to a report in The Mainichi.

Face mask.The team’s leader wants to test the masks further and make them available to everyone.

Andrew Merry/Getty Images

They then created a filter — this was coated with antibodies taken from the ostrich eggs.

After the masks have been worn, the filter can be taken out and then sprayed with a chemical. If the coronavirus is present, this will cause the filter to glow under ultraviolet light.

In a small study of 32 people who all had coronavirus, all of their masks glowed under ultraviolet light. 

The researchers are hoping to test the masks on a larger scale, with over 150 participants, according to The Mainichi.

Tsukamoto is a veterinarian and professor of the university.

He told the Asahi Shimbun that he had his own way of knowing the masks worked: “I was able to verify that my mask works because I myself was infected, and the outcome was, although somewhat ironic, satisfactory for me as a researcher.”

Tsukamoto now wants to make the masks available to everyone.

“We can mass-produce antibodies from ostriches at a low cost. In the future, I want to make this into an easy testing kit that anyone can use,” he said.

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