SFU researchers develop tech for cheaper coronavirus testing kits

It’s best for Canada to be “over-prepared” for the fallout of COVID-19 rather than the alternative. That was the message Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, delivered March 20 during a ministers briefing outlining plans to boost domestic medical supplies. And for the next pandemic, imaging technology developed by Simon Fraser University researchers will be prepped for deployment in coronavirus testing kits that will come much cheaper than the current offerings. “You adapt and you have to respond to future emergencies just as you have to be able to respond to the current ones,” said Paul Unrau, an SFU molecular biology and biochemistry professor who helped develop the new technology known as Mango with post-doctoral fellow Lena Dolgosheina. The brightly coloured imaging tech detects RNA in cells using an aptamer, which functions similar to a magnet as it targets and binds fluorescent dye molecules that glow brightly when bound. RNA molecules modified to contain the aptamer stand out compared with other parts of a cell so researchers can see them easily under a microscope. “Testing on humans is quite a different thing than testing on tissue culture, but we’re...

Razer Raises The Bar On VR Gaming With Its New $200 Stargazer Webcam

Last summer, gaming tech company Razer said that it was working with Intel on a webcam that would take in-game video recording to a higher level. Today, at CES in Las Vegas, the company is taking the wraps off that product. Stargazer is Razer’s new $200 camera, shipping in Q2, that will let game players record themselves in high definition, with the focus on catchy new features, such as a new way to immerse players directly into games without resorting to green screens; and a new 3D scanning feature that will first make its debut in Minecraft, courtesy of Intel’s RealSense technology. Alongside the Stargazer, Razer is also showing off three other products to fill out its hardware for the dedicated gamer — the Razer Blade Stealth and Core — respectively a new Ultrabook and desktop graphics extension; and a new Nabu digital watch. (Extending the company’s Nabu smartband brand, it is “Not a smartwatch but a watch that’s smart” Razer says.) The Stealth, which begins shipping this quarter, starts at a competition-busting $999 for the 8GB model (256GB model: $1599) while pricing for the Core has yet to be made public. Check out my video below with Razer CEO and co-founder Min-Liang Ta...