Swedish scientists used #Nokia Lumia 1020 for DNA sequencing and in situ mutation analysis

There are a number of things we love about Nokia phones, but few of those that stand out are build quality, design, and definitely cameras. Regarding the camera, the first Nokia phone to feature camera was Nokia 7650 back in 2002, and camera frenzy culminated with Nokia Lumia 1020, eleven years later. This phone brought an improved version of Nokia 808’s astonishing 41 MP camera, and entered the history as one of the best camera phones today. That fact was enough for Swedish scientists that used this magnificent camera for targeted DNA sequencing and in situ mutation analysis. To simplify this to a layman language, they used Nokia Lumia 1020 camera to detect the DNA mutation in samples obtained from preserved tumour cells, instead sending the samples for processing into the very specialised and usually expensive laboratories. They named this molecular diagnostic a “smartphone microscopy” and added few adjustments that are enabling pathologist to check samples remotely over the mobile phone. Adjustments are white LED diode that creates bright field and Laser diode that lightens up the stained sample so DNA could be differentiated. Lumia 1020 camera catches the photo that can be analysed later in high resolution. Everything got published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature Communications and this field of microscopy is set for further development.

This isn’t the first time, scientists used Lumia 1020 camera for sample analysis. Back in 2013 scientist John Paul Graff published the paper „The Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone as a 41-megapixel photomicroscope” in Histopathology journal, where he describes the usage of smartphone camera to generate digital photomicrographs. This started the development of the digital pathology.

It is great to see good old Nokia Lumia 1020 used for scientific purposes which just shows how Nokia helped improve our lives. Hope someday Nokia will again do the similar breakthrough in mobile phone photography, maybe with graphene based sensors… Well, the Nokia 6 for sure is doing a great job since her camera turned out to be magnificent.


Nature Communications