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Ray of Hope: Government Eases Restrictions on Indian COVID-19 Research

To prepare for such an event, several national labs are planning to chip in with the testing, Satyajit Mayor, the director of National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), a DAE-funded institution in Bengaluru, told The Wire Science. These labs are taking advantage of the fact that the reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the technology used to identify telltale SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in patient samples, is also used by scientists for other studies. For example, an ecologist may use RT-PCR to identify the genetic material from phytoplankton species that trigger algal blooms in sea-water. Given this expertise, researchers at NCBS, who span disciplines such as ecology and neurobiology, are “ready and able to” offer RT-PCR testing even for COVID-19, Mayor said.