You could be buying and wearing face masks that detect COVID-19 as early as July 2022. Don’t ever worry whether you have COVID and are asymptomatic again – ostrich eggs will reveal the truth.
Scientists at Japan’s Kyoto Prefectural University have created a fluorescent dye that glows under ultraviolet light or blue light from a device like a smartphone if COVID is detected. By spraying mask filters with the dye, the researchers basically create a personal testing kit in order to avoid the cost and inconvenience of getting tested.
The fluorescent dye solution was created by injecting inactive COVID-19 particles into female ostriches, almost like a vaccine. The ostriches would then later lay unfertilized eggs. Because antibodies transfer to offspring through the yolk, the ostrich eggs contained COVID-19 antibodies that scientists could extract and use in the creation of the dye. With the addition of the antibodies, the fluorescent dye would react and activate (AKA light up) in response to the spike proteins found in COVID-19.
Lead scientist and president of Kyoto Prefectural University Yasuhiro Tsukamoto told VICE that “It’s a much faster and direct form of initial testing than getting a PCR test.”
He even discovered that he had COVID-19 by wearing the ostrich egg mask.
“I was wearing the mask to test the product and realized that it lit up. So I went to get a PCR test and, sure enough, I was positive, and had to be quarantined at a hotel.”Yasuhiro Tsukamoto to VICE
Tsukamoto has been an ostrich researcher for over 20 years. He has led several studies on natural properties of the ostrich and its egg. Tsukamoto’s past accomplishments include creating masks that help prevent swine flu and products that assist with hair regeneration.
Extracting antibodies from animals in scientific research has been done before with several different creatures, but Tsukamoto’s research on ostriches is particularly helpful to his causes. An ostrich egg yolk is nearly 24 times larger than a chicken egg and antibodies form faster within them, taking six weeks for an ostrich egg as opposed to twelve for a chicken. This means that ostrich eggs can provide far more antibodies at a faster rate of production.
Using animals to generate antibodies has also been criticized by PETA and the EU. But Tsukamoto’s method of extracting the antibodies differs from others. Taking antibodies from rodents or rabbits may require slitting their throats in order to harvest their blood. But Tsukamoto’s ostriches only receive a single shot of inactive COVID-19 particles and are otherwise unharmed. The antibodies are extracted from unfertilized ostrich eggs that never could have hatched.
“I’m a veterinarian, so I would hate to do anything that harms animals,” Tsukamoto says. “No animals are bullied or killed in the process.”
Yasuhiro Tsukamoto’s work has saved lives and will continue to do so – we look forward to what he’ll do next with his ostrich research and technology!