SpectrumDNA is a division of Utah-based Spectrum Solutions, a medical device manufacturer. It makes kits to collect saliva for DNA and RNA testing for a variety of purposes, from “heritage tracing to a cancer diagnosis,” it says on its website. Together, DNA and RNA make up the nucleic acids found in all living cells including within bacteria, archaea, mitochondria, chloroplasts, and viruses. These are essential for all known forms of life.
Spectrum doesn’t do coronavirus testing, the company says, and its coronavirus kits are not collecting people’s DNA. Instead, it makes the saliva collection kits that medical labs and others use to do COVID-19 testing.
The woman in the video had a SpectrumDNA kit. She said the test was being done by another company, Vault. Vault is short for Vault Health.
RNA is ribonucleic acid. It is in your body’s cells, which use it to make proteins.
The coronavirus also has RNA. If you get infected with the coronavirus, it injects its RNA into your cells and forces them to make copies of the virus. The new copies burst out of the cell spread the virus to other cells in your body to make more copies.
Since the pandemic began, scientists developed tests that look for coronavirus RNA in people’s saliva. This is an alternative to the swab tests that involve sticking cotton swabs deep into people’s noses.
SpectrumDNA’s saliva collecting tubes and preservation materials are the only ones that the federal Food and Drug Administration has approved to collect saliva for the spit test that Vault Health uses, said Alex Pastuszak, Vault’s chief clinical officer, in an email to the USA TODAY Network.
“The Spectrum tube and preservative are designed to be able to collect and protect both DNA and RNA, which are the fundamental genetic components of all living creatures, whether human or virus,” Pastuszak said. “The same tube can be used to collect and preserve human DNA, but in this case, it is being used only for preservation of the virus, and the label should not be interpreted as indicating that Vault is collecting/storing/analyzing human DNA.”
Spectrum Solutions Saliva Collection Kit for COVID-19 Testing, Draper Utah | ©Spectrum Solutions, LLC