CRISPR-Based Testing for COVID-19
A CRISPR-Cas13a-based smartphone test can detect COVID-19 in under 30 minutes
Olivia Gaskill | | Quick Read
Priorities have continued to shift when it comes to curbing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 – from national lockdowns to mass testing. Recently, rapid mass testing has been proposed as the key to fully reopening communities across the US – but this is easier said than done; rapidly identifying asymptomatic, presymptomatic, and symptomatic carriers still presents a challenge.
Researchers from Gladstone Institutes, the University of California San Francisco, and the University of California Berkeley recognized this need and developed a CRISPR-Cas13a assay that uses a smartphone camera to directly detect SARS-CoV-2 from nasal swab RNA (1). The test avoids the need for amplification, facilitating point-of-care use, and returns accurate results in under 30 minutes.
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