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    WATCH: Virginia Tech discussing its newly developed COVID-19 test

    BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech talked about the COVID-19 test its researchers have developed.

    Researchers discussed the university’s work to develop a new COVID-19 test and procedures to support local health departments.

    View the full discussion below:

    Here are some facts about the test:

    • Virginia Tech secured federal and state approvals to begin processing samples at on-campus labs in Blacksburg and Roanoke. The testing effort is led by Michael Friedlander, Virginia Tech vice president of health sciences and technology and executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.
    • No patient samples will be collected at either of the Virginia Tech labs at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke or the Fralin Life Sciences Institute in Blacksburg — that step is done by health departments or health systems working with health departments.
    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Emergency Use Authorization for the university to proceed with testing, while FDA review of the validation is pending.
    • Faculty research leaders and their teams, led primarily by Carla Finkielstein at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute and by Harald Sontheimer at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, addressed the need for accurate testing by developing and perfecting the test.
    • The scientists developed a novel procedure to test for coronavirus RNA in the patient samples based on a laboratory technique call reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR).
    • Sample results will be returned in one day.

    About the Author:

    Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.