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NIH Scientists Develop Faster, Cost-Effective COVID-19 Test
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a new sample preparation method to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, NIH reported this month.
Diagnostic tests are a critical tool to help combat the spread of COVID-19 through detection, as these tests can quickly identify people infected with SARS-CoV-2. According to NIH, standard testing for the virus involves "amplifying viral RNA to detectable levels using a technique called quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR). But first, the RNA must be extracted from the sample. "
The challenge: Manufacturers of RNA extraction kits have had difficulty meeting user demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, delaying global testing capacity.
Due to a collaboration among researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI), the NIH Clinical Center (CC), and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the new preparation has significantly increased the RNA yield available for testing, compared to the standard method.
“We think this novel methodology has clear benefits of increasing sensitivity, cost, and time savings for testing,” said Robert B. Hufnagel, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the NEI Medical Genetics and Ophthalmic Genomic Unit. “The method stabilizes the RNA at room temperature for easier transport, storage, and handling in clinical settings.”
NEI has protected the intellectual property around this technology and is seeking partners for co-development/licensing.
Find out more about the research and findings in NIH's news announcement.
Mayo Clinic Q&A Podcast Breaks Down Booster Terminology for COVID-19 Vaccines
In its latest podcast focused on COVID-19, Mayo Clinic shares insights from Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, on "Breaking down the booster terminology for COVID-19 vaccines."
Dr. Poland discusses additional and booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines and addresses concerns about the variants that experts are predicting will come after the current delta variant.
Access the podcast and transcript via Mayo Clinic's news network.
See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response.