MONTREAL -- Scientists from Natural Resources Canada are loaning some of their lab equipment to Quebec hospitals as part of an effort to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities.

The tools are normally used by scientists who study genetics in trees and insects.

DNA extraction methods are the same in all living organisms, explained the Laurentian Forestry Centre with Natural Resources Canada.

Once brought to the hospitals, the devices will be used to analyze samples taken from patients suspected of having COVID-19 to detect genetic material specific to the virus.

The scientists at the centre, who work in molecular biology and forest genomics, say they decided to loan their equipment to the cause because they want to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus.

The tools will be sent to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université Laval (CHU), the CIUSSS de la Mauricie and the CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches sometime this week.