How To Detect The Zika Virus With A $1 Paper-based Test
Gareth Andrews / 4 years ago
As we develop so does the world around us, one of these developments is the explosive boom of the Zika Virus. The virus has had such a large impact that many are looking at ways of stopping or helping slow the spread of the devastating disease, including a team featuring members from Universities across America who have gone and developed a new way of detecting the threat of the Zika virus with a $1 paper-based test.
Dr. James Colins published his paper explaining the new test and how it would help people in the field detect the disease. In a phone call with Tech Crunch, Dr. Collins went on to explain how the test came around. In the call, he explains how it was an email from MIT that sparked the team’s interest in developing the test.
“In late January, MIT sent out an email asking who was working on Zika. We were not. I turned to my team and former team members and asked them what we could do here. Could we use our synthetic biology platforms in a meaningful way and create a diagnostic test? The collective response was that we could, and everybody basically dropped what they were doing and turned their attention to coming up with this novel test, and in about five to six weeks, we did it.”
The team was built up from people at MIT, the University of Toronto, Arizona State University, Cornell, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Boston University. The process for conducting a test can be done in under two hours and all while using low-cost and easy to deploy equipment, meaning that even more people have access to the test which can not only detect Zika but also dengue fever and Ebola.