UK engineering students develop vans to expand their research – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-12-03 17:45:44 –

Lexington, Kentucky (LEX 18) —The University of Kentucky receives a multi-million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to test COVID-19 wastewater, expanding research by a group of students. I found a way. In the countryside of Kentucky.

Researchers in the United Kingdom collected wastewater in September 2020 and began testing trace amounts of COVID-19RNA.

“Instead of doing hundreds of clinical trials in the community, we can take a sample from a wastewater treatment plant to get some idea of ​​the amount of virus circulating in the community,” said the lead collaborator. Dr. James Keck explains. Research and associate professor of family and community medicine in the United Kingdom.

According to Keck, data acquisition works well in urban environments with easy access to test labs, but the local community is a challenge. His student work is aimed at dealing with it.

“The quality of these samples deteriorates over time. Basically, we want to bring the lab to the sampling location,” explained Jarrett Stiles, a member of the student-led team.

Stiles, along with Sara Ignoffo, Amanda Muzzey, Will Theodore, Riley Lang and Sean Haley, designed the interior of a mobile wastewater analysis van from scratch to achieve this goal.

Vans will be used in eight counties in eastern Kentucky from 2022, including the Boyd, Rowan, Morgan, Johnson, Perry, Magoffin, Floyd, and Letcher counties.

Mr. Maggie said their prototypes are just the beginning of the impact of their work.

“I think it will be used for a long time. Once the pandemic is over, there is talk of using it to test for other types of Appalachia,” Maggie said.

This is a starting point for gaining access to technology in areas with limited resources.

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