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26/04/20 00:01

Help to tackle coronavirus

Laboratories providing scientific equipment and expertise.

The Environment Secretary has praised Scottish scientific institutions which normally focus on infectious diseases in livestock, environmental security and nutrition for offering support to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Scottish Government-funded James Hutton Institute, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), and Rowett Institute are providing vital scientific equipment to help with testing and have volunteered staff to work on projects too.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Scotland is proud to have some of the world’s leading science and research institutions. During this unprecedented global pandemic, the response of our research institutions in volunteering staff and laboratory equipment has been great to see.

“In the long term, their collective expertise and resources could make a huge difference in accelerating our understanding of, and refining our response to, this virus.

“More immediately, the provision of PPE and laboratory equipment will help our frontline NHS staff to carry on with the incredible work they are doing.”

Background

The James Hutton Institute has loaned:

  • two Qiagen QIACube sample processing units to NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Highland
  • Fast Optical 96-Well Reaction Plates and seals for PCR testing to testing labs in Edinburgh, which are used to analyse swab samples during testing for COVID-19

Rowett Institute has loaned two ThermoFisher Applied Biosystems 7500 Real Time PCR machines and one Qiagen QIACube sample processing unit to NHS Grampian. These machines will increase the number of tests clinical labs can process per day.  

The James Hutton Institute is giving international researchers access to use its High-performance Computing capability to help analyse COVID-19 DNA sequences. The Institute has donated masks, safety glasses, over 4500 sterile gloves and more than 1000 overshoes so far to NHS Tayside.

SRUC has provided NHS Dumfries & Galloway with equipment, oxygen and PPE, including 130 sterile gowns, 600 pairs sterile gloves, 100 masks, 150 caps, 100 shoe covers, 100 aprons and 3000 examination gloves.