Isn't it highly beneficial to have CCTV cameras installed in all Microbiology Labs in the COVID-19 times?

As the COVID vaccines are already developed, the research & development carried further in studying and analysing the COVID-19 variants by the Vaccinologists would be captured in real time on the Video monitors in as well as remotely from the Pathology labs.

This will assist the Vaccinology experts to analyse the COVID vaccine development (Including variants) in real time.


















1 Answer 1


No - cameras would not capture the detail of the experiments being performed, nor would many of the experiments make sense without some context for the individual labels, if the camera could see them.

All of the analysis of variants relies heavily on sequencing, which is run on a sequencer (such as these ones from Illumina). The data is then transferred directly to servers and processed there through bioinformatics pipelines. None of this could even conceivably be captured by camera.

Almost all viruses are far too small to be seen with a light microscope (for this one SARS-CoV-2 is about the same size as influenza). Bacteria are about on the limits of size that is useful for microscopy. The variants are all about the spike protein configuration and possibly some changes in morphology of the virion, all of which are way way too small to see with a microscope. Electron microscopy can be used to look at protein structure, but is too slow and imprecise to work out variant analysis - much better to do this by sequencing.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Do you feel by modifying the sequencer machines (electronic circuit) by adding video camera can assist in this regard? $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2021 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ No, not at all. The data is already captured by a type of camera and is electronic, but it wouldn't make any sense to the eye at all. These are massively parallel flowcells, capturing information in the order of millions of flashes of light per second, producing terabytes of information in a few hours. The data that comes out requires some fairly specialist software and knowledge to interpret - read the bioinformatics page on wikipedia for some small sense of the scale and challenges. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Sep 15, 2021 at 2:13
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the information provided. Customised Bioinformatics Software application/s can assist in this regard. $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2021 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ @PrashantAkerkar, most of the software used is already open source and such things are widely distributed, used, and discussed within the community. The datasets are generally open access too, so others can already access them and analyze to their satisfaction. I doubt that anything that you could add would improve the programs that are out there designed and programmed by CS and bioinformatics specialists. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Sep 15, 2021 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ @PrashantAkerkar - not really, the time difference there is all taken up in recruiting people for the vaccine trials and then looking at the developing immunity. The sequencers run as fast as they can and the few hours they take are nothing compared to the weeks it takes to raise immunity. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still highly effective against Delta with ~5% reduction cf wild-type. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Sep 15, 2021 at 23:38

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