News

Faster, better, cheaper: the rise of CRISPR in disease detection Powerful gene-editing tool could help to diagnose illnesses such as Lassa fever early and rein in the spread of infection.

An epidemic of Lassa fever in Nigeria that has killed 69 people this year is on track to be the worst ever recorded anywhere. Now, in the hope of reducing deaths from Lassa in years to come, researchers in Nigeria are trying out a new diagnostic test based on the gene-editing tool CRISPR.

The test relies on CRISPR’s ability to hunt down genetic snippets ― in this case, RNA from the Lassa virus ― that it has been programmed to find. If the approach is successful, it could help to catch a wide range of viral infections early so that treatments can be more effective and health workers can curb the spread of infection.

Scientists in Honduras and California are testing CRISPR diagnostics for dengue viruses, Zika viruses and strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) associated with cancer. And a study to explore a CRISPR test for the Ebola virus is pending in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

More

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s