Frequently Asked Questions about virus testing

It takes a lot of preparation and expertise to properly test for the presence of viruses in the air. In this video Molekule’s Science Writer, Hal, takes us on a tour of some of the different ways that we do experiments to see how well our products perform.

All of the research mentioned in the video is available on our papers page. All of the raw reports are available, including:

We use these proxy viruses because they can’t hurt humans, so they are much safer and easier to work with. And as you can see here, they’re just a little smaller than SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, so they’re more challenging to capture. 

The biochemistry of all viruses is very similar. Those points and lumps on their outsides are used to infiltrate their host. In the case of our bacteriophages, their host is E. coli that is grown in a lab. To test for their presence, we take a sample of a filter or the air, extract any viruses by shaking it with a sterile solution, then place the solution on a mat of E. coli. If we see empty spaces in the mat, then we know viruses survived to kill some of the E. coli.

We also know that when we sneeze or even talk loudly, we release clouds of invisible droplets that can travel as far as ten feet away from us. If we are infected, we can spread our infection through these droplets, and they may linger in the air for up to 14 minutes. Some researchers are even thinking the droplets may linger in the air for hours. At Molekule, we hope to add one more layer of protection to help stop this form of transmission.

Stay tuned to the Molekule YouTube channel to learn more about what we are doing, and what testing we will soon have available. Also, keep an eye on our blog for more information on viruses, air pollution, and air quality.

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