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Smartphones can actually do DNA testing, thanks to the Nokia Lumia 1020’s impressive camera

cjmagowan  —  2 years ago ( Jan 20, 2017 )    |    Science, Technology

The Pureview technology inside a select few of Lumia devices have proven its worth in the medical field and from all other Lumia devices out there, there should be one that stands out from the rest. The Lumia 1020 which came out in 2013 recently played a significant role in the advancement in medicine with a team of researchers utilizing the imaging power of the device with their miniature, yet effective DNA sequencer and Molecular analyzer.

While DNA sequencing is an expensive procedure requiring expensive equipment in which the technology doesn’t set too well in developing countries, a team of scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, Sweden’s Stockholm University and Uppsala University developed a 3D-printed attachment which turns Lumia 1020’s high-Megapixel camera into a microscope. The setup can be used to detect genetic mutations that causes disease right on the spot without sending the samples to the labs.

The technology is designed to provide early diagnosis from patients without requiring highly specialized equipment which are often found on specialized labs or in big hospitals where not everyone has the privilege of. The device detects DNA mutations which are most often found in cancer cases, and with it, doctors can then describe mutations that are resistant to drugs which are then helpful to provide the right treatment.

The procedure simply starts by obtaining a small tissue sample which is placed in a small container. In a preset timing, two laser diodes and a white LED beams light into the sample, and with the Lumia 1020’s camera together with a specialized set of lens from the attachment, the device then captures a set of images which are then fed into an algorithm that analyzes DNA sequences and find mutation in the tissue.

One of the team’s lead scientist Dr.Mats Nilsson describes the technology as a trial and error thing. While the technology has become handy, it would require further testing before it becomes a reasonable alternative from more expensive equipment. And with our current state of continuing progress in technology, the team are also looking forward to support newer camera phones given that the Lumia 1020 is already a 3-year-old device. But as for the moment, it seems like there’s nothing out there that could outshine the Lumia 1020’s imaging tech.