Two Monash University biospectroscopists are currently trialling a new technology for detecting Malaria by using spectroscopy – analysis of tissue and fluids using light.
Essentially, it responds to the unique RNA and DNA of the malaria parasite which in this case will vibrate at a molecular level in response to the UV and IR light. It can be used to detect multiple strains of the disease, and is extremely small and portable. Hence they are currently trialling how this technology can be used in remote communities in Papua New Guinea.
The hope is that it could almost eliminate the disease by detecting asymptomatic people who act as reservoirs for the disease without realising. Considering the high burden of this endemic disease, this could have amazing possibilities in the future.