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Virginia company using jellyfish to find COVID-19 in the air

Virginia company using jellyfish to find COVID-19 in the air
Posted at 3:01 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 15:01:53-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - A Virginia company is unveiling a brand new technology, with help from jellyfish, to help in the fight against COVID-19.

“We're just pretty motivated by the fact that we're making an impact to open the economy, places back up safely,” Senseware CEO Dr. Serene Al-Momen told News 3.

Senseware, a technology company based in northern Virginia, specializes in air monitoring.

“We quickly realized that the primary concerns of transmissions are airborne transmission for the COVID-19 virus,” Al-Momen said.

The technology the company is rolling out is a new pathogen-detecting monitoring system using specific antibodies and proteins from jellyfish that light up when coming in contact with COVID-19.

“We're talking about having the results available within minutes, under five minutes,” she said. “If the virus is detected, we immediately in real-time with our cloud-based technology alert you. You see the threat, the detection on your phone. You get an email if you're an operator. You're able to quickly mitigate that issue.”

Al-Momen told News 3 the product is in the final stages of third-party testing. She added they’re also looking throughout Virginia, including Hampton Roads, for beta testing sites, specifically healthcare and treatment centers.

“This is creating a way to create a safer environment and begin to create that confidence in people to re-populate spaces,” she said.

She said it's all about keeping people safe and giving them peace of mind.

“Knowledge is power,” Al-Momen said. “When you're having that real-time, around the clock, monitoring of all aspects of air quality, it will create that confidence for people to know that there's that data available in real-time.”

This story was first reported by Zak Dahlheimer at WTKR in Norfolk, Virginia.