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Israeli scientists develop robotic AI method to up pace of COVID-19 testing

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JERUSALEM (Xinhua) — Israeli scientists have developed a robotic artificial intelligence (AI) method to increase the number of coronavirus tests by more than eight times than usual, Ben Gurion University (BGU) reported.

The team included researchers from BGU, the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) and the Soroka Medical Center, all located in the southern city of Beer Sheva, along with The Open University of Israel.

The researchers reported that in a preliminary experiment, the method’s ability to detect positive carriers from 384 samples was proven in only 47 measurements.

According to the team, the method enables a broader survey of the asymptomatic population and obtain a snapshot of the rate of the virus’s spread.

The innovative method is based on pooling many specimens into groups, with each sample simultaneously joining several groups on which the test is performed.

A mathematical algorithm can unambiguously identify the infected specimen, recover the individual specimen from the results of the mixed specimens, and save the need for individual treatment for each specimen.

“It is important to locate asymptomatic carriers ahead of time, quarantine them and thus reduce the infection rate among high-risk populations. The new method will allow for greater acceleration rates,” the researchers concluded. Xinhua

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