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Stanford develops a ‘on-chip CRISPR laboratory’ to detect COVID-19



Researchers at Stanford University have developed a CRISPR-based “chip lab” to detect COVID-19 and are working with automakers at Ford to develop their prototypes into a products ready to be put on the market.

This could provide an automated handheld device that is designed to deliver coronavirus test results anywhere within 30 minutes.

In a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this trial found active infections quickly and cheaply, using electric fields for cleaning. liquid from the swab sample and drive the DNA cutting reagent in small segments of the system.

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Study lead author Juan Santiago, Charles Lee Powell, professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford’s Charles Lee Powell Foundation, said: “A microlab is a microfluidic chip about half the size of a credit card.

Using the CRISPR Cas12 enzyme, a brother of the very famous CRISPR-Cas9, the experiment activates a fluorescent molecular probe that causes the samples to glow when the coronavirus-derived genetic material is found.

RELATED: The Stanford team deploys CRISPR gene editing to combat COVID-19

“It also doesn’t rely on antibodies like many tests, but only to tell if someone has the disease, not whether they have it,” said graduate student Ashwin Ramachandran, the first author of the study. contagious and therefore contagious or not.

The test’s approach could also be modified to detect markers of other infections, the researchers said, by recalibrating the CRISPR enzyme for a different genetic marker.

“If we want to find another disease, we just need to design the right nucleic acid sequence on the computer and email it to a commercial manufacturer of synthetic RNA,” Ramachandran said. “They sent back a vial with a molecule that completely reconfigured our test for a new disease. “


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