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New Diagnostic Test Can Detect SARS-CoV-2 even After Mutation
May 23 2021
A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a diagnostic test that can detect SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19 - even after it has gone through mutations.
Called the VaNGuard (Variant Nucleotide Guard) test, it makes use of a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, which is used widely in scientific research to alter DNA sequences and modify gene function in human cells under lab conditions, and more recently, in diagnostic applications.
Since viruses have the ability to evolve over time, a diagnostic test robust against potential mutations is a crucial tool for tracking and fighting the pandemic.
In addition to its ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 even when it mutates, the VaNGuard test can be used on crude patient samples in a clinical setting without the need for RNA purification, and yields results in 30 minutes.
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