Roche and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed a series of tests for the detection of the monkeypox virus, the Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company announced.
The monkeypox virus is a close relative of the smallpox virus, belonging to orthpoxviridae in the poxviridae family.
The modular virus detection tool, called LightMix, includes three orthpoxvirus detection kits with different functions, Roche said in a statement. The first kit detects orthpoxvirus; The second kit tests only for monkeypox virus (west and Central African branches); The third kit contains the main functions of the first two kits, showing specific information on the presence of the monkeypox virus (west and Central African branches) as well as the detection of orpoxvirus.
Thomas Schinek, a Roche executive, said the new test could detect monkeypox and help track its spread. Such diagnostic tools are critical for addressing and ultimately managing emerging public health challenges, as they advance responses such as tracking efforts and treatment strategies.
The monkeypox virus was first identified in 1958 in a group of monkeys used for research when the animals developed a "pox-like" infection, hence the name. Since May, several non-endemic countries have reported human cases of the monkeypox virus, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.
Affected by the ever-changing international situation, the supply and prices of international bulk molybdenum powder are still very uncertain.
Molybdenum (Mo) is a key component of electrochemical hydride transfer catalysts for KAUST researchers. Based on this, molybdenum-based catalysts make sustainable fuel and chemical manufacturing one step closer to the real reality. Platinum has been the preferred catalyst for electrochemical hydride transfer for a long time, and this chemical process has the potential to produce valuable chemicals or carbon-free fuels.
However, because platinum is a scarce and expensive precious metal, the use of this technology is severely limited. Magnus Rueping and his team have shown that molybdenum, a more abundant and affordable metal, has the potential to replace platinum in the process. Molybdenum sulphide and other molybdenum-based catalysts have successfully shown the prospect of hydride transfer electrocatalysis, but the reason for their high activity, especially the role of molybdenum in it, is still a mystery.
To see the effect of molybdenum sulphide electrocatalysts in real time, the researchers used a method called electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). Bau added: "to our surprise, we were able to capture it throughout the process. We can capture the active state of the catalyst. Mo3+ binds directly to hydrogen. "
Molybdenum ions directly involved in the hydride transfer process may produce better catalysts. If we can demonstrate a cohesion theory of how molybdenum is responsible for hydride transfer activities, we can focus on improving molybdenum to replace platinum, or we can develop new molybdenum catalysts as cheaper alternatives to platinum, "Bau added.
One potential use of this catalyst is to split water molecules by electrochemical methods to produce hydrogen, which can be stored and transported as fuel. The researchers also demonstrated that the catalyst has great potential in improving enzyme biocatalysts for the production of green chemicals.
Enzymes often cooperate with the natural energy-carrying molecule NADH to catalyze reactions in cells. However, the price of NADH makes it impractical in industrial biocatalysis. However, molybdenum hydride produced by electrochemical method has been proved to be quite effective in in situ regeneration of NADH in biochemical reaction flasks.
Professor Magnus Rueping, from the KAUST research team, said: "We are surprised by the efficiency of this process, which produces pure NADHt while avoiding by-products. Molybdenum-based catalysts provide the possibility of making sustainable fuels and compounds through enzymes. "
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