WESTWOOD— On Thursday, October 9, University of California, Los Angeles announced that the United States FDA granted emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 testing technology.

As explained in a news release, scientists at UCLA will be using a “testing technology capable of assessing thousands of individual samples for COVID-19 simultaneously and producing accurate results in 12 to 24 hours.”

It added: “The SwabSeq testing platform, developed collaboratively by UCLA researchers and a UCLA-founded startup, is quicker and less expensive… It takes a person’s saliva and attaches a type of molecular ‘bar code’ to each sample, allowing scientists to combine large batches of samples together in a sequencing machine and rapidly identify those that have the virus… [It can also apply] to nasal and oral COVID-19 testing samples.”

“This is a technological breakthrough that will dramatically increase the amount of COVID-19 testing while reducing the wait time for results and costs,” said Dr. John Mazziotta, vice chancellor for UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health.

Dr. Leonid Kruglyak, chair of the department of Human Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine, said that this testing “has the potential to expand testing capacity to the scale required for pandemic suppression.”