CRISPR Could Allow for Fast, At-Home Coronavirus Testing

CRISPR Could Allow for Fast, At-Home Coronavirus Testing

It could be as simple to use as a pregnancy test — but it’s not there yet

By now you’ve probably heard of the lab technique CRISPR. The powerful gene-editing tool is being explored to treat a number of diseases and has been used to tweak the genomes of existing plants and animals. It’s also been imagined as a way to create so-called designer babies that have handpicked genetic traits.

But CRISPR’s precise genome-editing ability is also being harnessed as a tool for diagnosing disease — a use that could come to fruition much sooner than gene-editing cures and designer babies. The urgency of the coronavirus pandemic is driving development of CRISPR-based diagnostic tests for Covid-19. Scientists are now making cheap, fast CRISPR tests that could be administered at home, deliver results in less than an hour, and potentially be available by the end of the year.

crispr reengineering-life coronavirus testing vaccines

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