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Outside the Lab COVID-19, Point of care testing, Microbiology and immunology, Technology and innovation

Yes, We Gly-Can!

Credit: Iceni Diagnostics Ltd., Norwich, UK.

A new test seeks to identify viruses, including influenza and SARS-CoV-2, by glycan recognition. Many viruses invade humans via the respiratory tract, whose cells are coated in glycans that the viruses recognize as part of their infectious process. By reversing this process using an artificial glycan receptor, diagnostic devices can capture the virus, yielding a yes/no answer in under 20 minutes. But speed is not the only advantage over PCR-based diagnostic methods; the device is also hand-held, meaning it can be used at the point of care, and glycan-based testing is unaffected by changes to the virus’ genetic code.

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About the Author

Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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