8 августа 2020  |  
5:40 PM  July 27, 2020

TSU with colleagues figure out how to protect the world from COVID-19

© пресс-служба Томского госуниверситетаTSU with colleagues figure out how to protect the world from COVID-19

TOMSK, Jul 27 – RIA Tomsk. Interdisciplinary group of scientists, including from TSU, has begun work on a project to provide fundamental data on COVID-19; they will find out why the new coronavirus is so actively transmitted from person to person and whether it is possible to diagnose viral diseases using biophotonics and AI techniques, the university's press service said.

According to the press service, about 40 species from the group of coronaviruses are known today. COVID-19 demonstrates increased contagiousness (infectivity). Earlier it was reported that the first cases of COVID-19 were recorded at the end of December 2019, and already on March 1, 2020, WHO announced a pandemic of the new coronavirus. According to the Worldometers website, as of July 27, there are more than 16.4 million cases in the world, more than 10 million have recovered, and more than 653 thousand have died.

Basic research

An interdisciplinary group of scientists from Tomsk State University, Moscow State University, Higher School of Economics, Saratov State University, Siberian State Medical University and Institute on Laser and Information Technologies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has started a large-scale study that will allow obtaining fundamental data on the coronavirus.

"Researchers will study the physical mechanisms of adhesion of a viral particle – its ability to adhere to various surfaces, including adhesion to the cell surface. After that, the pathogen penetrates into the "target" and begins its destructive activity. Understanding the mechanisms of adhesion of COVID-19 will suggest ways to weaken this ability and build an effective system for the protection of people", – is explained in the message.


© предоставил Виктор Черепанов
Viral infections, including COVID-19, are now diagnosed using clinical tests, PCR tests, and studies of specific antibodies are also being conducted. To determine them, blood serum is used. Scientists within the framework of the project want to explore the possibility of a more rapid diagnosis of viral diseases using biophotonics and artificial intelligence.

"Biophotonic methods, with appropriate biological or immunological markers, can effectively determine antigens, antibodies or nucleic acids in saliva. Such an analysis is done many times faster and can have a sufficiently high accuracy. Now, based on the analysis of saliva, a number of ailments can be diagnosed - cardiovascular diseases, oncopathology, AIDS and others", – the head of the Laboratory for Biophotonics, executive director of the TSU Institute of Biomedicine Yuri Kistenev is quoted in the message.

© предоставлено пресс-службой Томского госуниверситета
The head of Laboratory for Biophotonics, executive director of the TSU Institute of Biomedicine Yuri Kistenev
Scientists will search for specific markers at the second stage of the project.

The tools to identify COVID-19 indicators will be the methods of Raman spectroscopy, therahertz and infrared spectroscopy. Selected markers will be used for machine learning of the computer model, the task of which will be to search for specific "marks" in the saliva of patients", – the press service added.

The Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) will allocate 12 million rubles for this joint scientific work. The results of the project are planned to be presented in September 2022.

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