Context: A mumbai based team has shown the efficacy of Raman Spectroscopy in detecting RNA virus in saliva samples.

More on News:

  • For the study, the researchers spiked saliva samples with non-infectious RNA viruses and analysed it with Raman Spectroscopy
  • Analysing 1400 spectra from each sample, the team deduced 65 spectral features were adequate to confirm the viral positive signal.
  • To minimise variability and automate the analysis of the Raman spectra for RNA viruses, the team developed an automated tool called RNA Virus Detector.
    • This can be used for detecting RNA virus from an individual or a group of samples in an unambiguous and reproducible manner, and is freely downloadable.
  • It can find the RNA virus but not specific coronavirus, hence it can be used for screening and later on RT-PCR test can be done for confirmation.


  • It requires lesser cost as no additional reagent is required to enhance the signal.
  • It is a potential tool for screening which can deliver results within minutes and saves a lot of time.
  • The study could form the basis for field application of Raman Spectroscopy in managing viral outbreaks.


The Raman Effect:

  • The Raman Effect is a change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules.
    • Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength. 
    • A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident light; its presence is a result of the Raman Effect. 
    • The inelastic scattering at its heart was a further, very strong, confirmation of quantum theory
  • It is a phenomenon in spectroscopy discovered by the physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman in 1928.  
  • It made him the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize in the field Physics in 1930. 
  • Raman Spectroscopy:
    • Raman showed that the energy of photons scattered inelastically serves as a ‘fingerprint’ for the substance the light is scattered from.
    • Uses: 
      • As a result of the above phenomena, Raman spectroscopy is now commonly used in chemical laboratories all over the world to identify substances
      • It is also used in medicine to investigate living cells and tissues – even detecting cancers – without causing harm. 
      • Laser light rather than sunlight is used as the source of photons.



  • Ribonucleic acid is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. 
  • RNA and DNA are nucleic acids. Along with lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates, nucleic acids constitute one of the four major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life

Source: positive for RNA virus,viruses present in saliva samples.

Image Source: The Hindu