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Diagnostic biosensor quickly detects SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swabs

New test analyzes patient samples without any sample preparation steps

24-Apr-2020

According to many experts, early diagnosis and management are critical for slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, the race is on to develop diagnostic tests for the virus that are faster, easier and more accurate than existing ones. Now, researchers ...

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New COVID-19 test quickly and accurately detects viral RNA

17-Apr-2020

Millions of people have been tested for the novel coronavirus, most using a kit that relies on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This sensitive method amplifies SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs so that tiny amounts of the virus can be detected. However, as the pandemic surges, this laboratory ...

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Missing link in coronavirus jump from bats to humans could be pangolins, not snakes

31-Mar-2020

As scientists scramble to learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, two recent studies of the virus' genome reached controversial conclusions: namely, that snakes are intermediate hosts of the new virus, and that a key coronavirus protein shares "uncanny similarities" with an HIV-1 protein. ...

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Paper-based test could diagnose Lyme disease at early stages

20-Dec-2019

After a day hiking in the forest, the last thing a person wants to discover is a tick burrowing into their skin. Days after plucking off the bloodsucking insect, the hiker might develop a rash resembling a bull's-eye, a tell-tale sign of Lyme disease. Yet not everybody who contracts Lyme disease ...

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4D imaging with liquid crystal microlenses

22-Nov-2019

Most images captured by a camera lens are flat and two dimensional. Increasingly, 3D imaging technologies are providing the crucial context of depth for scientific and medical applications. 4D imaging, which adds information on light polarization, could open up even more possibilities, but ...

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Aҫaí berry extracts fight malaria in mice

18-Oct-2019

Despite humanity's best efforts to eradicate malaria, the disease struck more than 200 million people in 2017, according to the World Health Organization. Worse yet, the parasite that causes malaria is developing resistance to many antimalarial drugs, including the mainstay, chloroquine. ...

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Fungal compound deodorizes skunk smell

29-Jul-2019

Being sprayed by a skunk is no fun for people or their pets, and the strong, stinky secretions can serve as a nasty reminder of the wildlife encounter for days or weeks. Available "de-skunking" formulas often either don't work well or can irritate the skin and eyes. Now, researchers reporting in ...

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'Semi-synthetic' bacteria churn out unnatural proteins

19-Jul-2019

Synthetic biologists seek to create new life with forms and functions not seen in nature. Although scientists are a long way from making a completely artificial life form, they have made semi-synthetic organisms that have an expanded genetic code, allowing them to produce never-before-seen ...

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Self-healing DNA nanostructures

03-Jun-2019

DNA assembled into nanostructures such as tubes and origami-inspired shapes could someday find applications ranging from DNA computers to nanomedicine. However, these intriguing structures don't persist long in biological environments because of enzymes called nucleases that degrade DNA. Now, ...

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Ragweed compounds could protect nerve cells from Alzheimer's

17-May-2019

As spring arrives in the northern hemisphere, many people are cursing ragweed, a primary culprit in seasonal allergies. But scientists might have discovered a promising new use for some substances produced by the pesky weed. In ACS' Journal of Natural Products, researchers have identified and ...

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