Tabletop device could diagnose COVID-19 from a saliva sample in an hour

Written by Vivian Xie

A collaboration between engineers and scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University (both MA, USA) have reported on a tabletop device able to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a sample of saliva within an hour. The device is also able to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern that have been circulating recently. Relying on CRISPR technology, the system utilizes an RNA guide strand to detect target RNA sequences as well as enzymes that cleave those sequences. The researchers incorporated a preprocessing step that disabled salivary nucleases that destroy nucleic acids such as RNA. The nucleases are then deactivated once...

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