New York – A team of scientists has reported that they have developed an experimental prototype for a fairly quick and inexpensive test to diagnose coronavirus, which offers a way of giving results that is as simple as a pregnancy test.
The test is based on a gene-editing technology known as Crispr, and the researchers estimated that the materials for each test would cost around $ 6, The New York Times reported.
“We are excited that this may be a solution so that people do not have to rely on a sophisticated and expensive laboratory,” said Feng Zhang, a researcher at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and one of the pioneers. of Crispr technology.RELATED
Dr. Zhang and colleagues published a description of their device on a website dedicated to their project on Tuesday, but their method has not yet been tested by other scientists, nor have their findings been published by a scientific journal that could subject them to a scrutiny by independent experts.
Two other teams of researchers, one in Buenos Aires and the other in San Francisco, are also working to design new tests to detect the virus using gene-editing technology.
Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health, said it is important for scientists to look for new types of tests for the coronavirus. But he cautioned that the research so far offers only one proof of concept, and it remains to be seen how well the test will work under real-world conditions compared to standard tests currently in use, known as polymerase chain reaction or PCR. .
“There is a long way to go from that to scalable technology that works,” he said.