New Covid-19 test delivers diagnoses up to three time faster

Researchers at Oxford University have developed a new test for the novel coronavirus that they say yields results more than three times faster than current diagnostics and is significantly simpler to use. Whereas previous viral RNA tests typically took up to two hours to produce a positive or negative finding, the new technology delivers results in just half an hour. ‘The beauty of this new test lies in the design of the viral detection that can specifically recognise Sars-CoV-2 (Covid-19) RNA and RNA fragments,’ explained Wei Huang, a synthetic biologist who co-led the Oxford team. Huang said the new diagnostic has built-in checks to guard against false positives or negatives, and he also said that the results have been ‘highly accurate’ thus far. As the technology is extremely sensitive, the Oxford team says that it can identify patients in early stages of infection and thereby potentially reduce the spread of the Covid-19, which the World Health Organization officially labelled a pandemic on 11 March. This new test only requires a simple heat-block that maintains a constant temperature for RNA reverse transcription and DNA amplification, and the result can be read off using the naked eye. The latter quality means that it could be especially valuable in rural settings or at community healthcare centres. The new diagnostic was validated with clinical samples from China. The hospital ran the rapid detection kits on 16 samples, including 8 positives and 8 negatives that were confirmed by conventional reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction methods, as well as other clinical evidence. The new kit successfully identified from the samples which patients had been diagnosed with Covid-19.Rebecca TragerUS correspondent, Chemistry World Related articlesNewsItalian researchers fear long-lasting harm to science from coronavirus lockdown2020-03-18T14:30:00With the entire population isolated and universities closed research has been severely curtailedNewsHundreds of universities closing across the US in response to coronavirus threat2020-03-13T14:30:00Universities are moving to online classes, while research projects grind to a halt at some institutesBusinessFDA freezes foreign facility inspections amid coronavirus pandemic2020-03-12T14:27:00US regulator will rely on border checks and shared data, but some approval processes may be delayed More NewsArticlePredatory journals’ reviewers mostly junior researchers from developing countries2020-03-19T14:30:00ZThe few scientists conducting peer review for predatory publishers are often of young academic age and come from lower-income regionsResearchAutomated radial synthesis could usher in era of chemistry ‘server farms’2020-03-19T09:30:00ZSystem to streamline small molecule production could bring state-of-the-art chemistry to many more teamsResearchTargeted nanoparticles swell-up to kill cancer cells2020-03-18T14:30:00ZNanoparticles covered with charged ligands can kill errant cancer cells but leave normal cells unharmed SubscribeAdvertiseTopicsIssuesContributors Our mission News and events Campaigns Awards and funding Global challenges Support our work © Royal Society of Chemistry Registered charity number: 207890 Site powered by Webvision Cloud