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Superheroes of Science

Jul 27, 2020

Mohit Verma is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. Verma’s group has been busy working on developing a better test for COVID-19 with the goals of both simplifying the current test and providing faster results to patients. Traditionally, when patients are tested for COVID-19, they provide a deep nasal swab sample which is then analyzed for the presence of the virus. Verma’s group is hoping to develop a simpler testing procedure for patients that would instead analyze a sample of their saliva. Verma anticipates the new test could be completed from either the doctor’s office or eventually from the patient’s home. Over the past several years, Verma’s group had been developing a procedure for a similar test used with animals to detect bacterial infections. Verma explains the difference between both DNA and RNA, and the processes of transcription and translation. He then discusses the process his group is using to distinguish themselves from other COVID-19 tests that have been developed.