A new paper-based test developed at MIT and other institutions can diagnose Zika virus infection within a few hours. An outbreak of the Zika virus that began in Brazil in April 2015 has been linked to a birth defect known as microcephaly. Currently, patients are diagnosed by testing whether they have antibodies against Zika in their bloodstream, or by looking for pieces of the viral genome in a patient’s blood sample, using a test known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Collins, Gehrke, and colleagues from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and other institutions described the new device in the May 6 online edition of Cell. The new device is based on technology that Collins and colleagues previously developed to detect the Ebola virus. Upon learning about the Zika outbreak, the researchers decided to try adapting their device to diagnose Zika, which has spread to other parts of South and North America since the outbreak began in Brazil. Collins and his colleagues developed sensors, embedded in the paper discs, that can detect 24 different RNA sequences found in the Zika viral genome, which, like that of many viruses, is composed of RNA instead of DNA.
This color change can be seen with the naked eye, but the researchers also developed an electronic reader that makes it easier to quantify the change, especially in cases where the sensor is detecting more than one RNA sequence.
All of the cellular components necessary for this process — including proteins, nucleic acids, and ribosomes — can be extracted from living cells and freeze-dried onto paper. The researchers also incorporated a step that boosts the amount of viral RNA in the blood sample before exposing it to the sensor, using a system called NASBA (nucleic acid sequence based amplification). Julius Lucks, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell University, says that this demonstration of rapidly customizable molecular sensors represents a huge leap for the field of synthetic biology.
The team tested the new device using synthesized RNA sequences corresponding to the Zika genome, which were were then added to human blood serum.
The researchers then tested the device with samples taken from monkeys infected with the Zika virus. The researchers envision that this approach could also be adapted to other viruses that may emerge in the future. Mayoclinic – YouTubeMedical Edge Mayo Clinic Medical Edge is a weekly medical news insert for television newscasts. Turn any PC into a money making machine: this complete public computing system is easy to set up and maintain. Webcam Diagnostics (CamDiag) is a simple assistant which gathers many system and webcam-related information in a single place. Connect your phone via cable, bluetooth or infrared and you'll be surprised how easy and efficient you can manage your phone with this compact software. Serial Key Generator is application specially designed for software developers to help you protect your applications by serial key registration.
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Scientists are working aggressively to find the cure for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Eliminating the virus can be challenging, despite the availability of different drugs targeted toward HIV. It is believed that the viruses will seek refuge in the immune cells and tend to multiply there; some would even retreat to their dormant phase.
Emory University's Francois Villinger and a team of researchers wondered if using PET (positron emission tomography) scanning would help detect HIV.
The tests using PET scan didn't reveal much and there were limitations, such as not being able to give more detailed scans.
The technique is still in its preliminary stages but experts believe it shows potential, especially in the kick and kill approach of treating HIV. In a more recent report, scientists from Philadelphia's Temple University are optimistic that a cure will be available in three years' time.
As previously reported by Ecumenical News, the technique involves editing genes, and making them able to eliminate the virus from the body, completely. The test, which distinguishes Zika from the very similar dengue virus, can be stored at room temperature and read with a simple electronic reader, making it potentially practical for widespread use. Many infected people experience no symptoms, and when symptoms do appear they are very similar to those of related viruses such as dengue and chikungunya.

However, these tests can take days or weeks to yield results, and the antibody test cannot discriminate accurately between Zika and dengue. In October 2014, the researchers demonstrated that they could create synthetic gene networks and embed them on small discs of paper. When the target RNA sequence is present, it initiates a series of interactions that turns the paper from yellow to purple.
These paper discs can be stored at room temperature, making it easy to ship them to any location. This amplification step, which takes one to two hours, increases the test’s sensitivity 1 million-fold. The researchers showed that the device could detect very low viral RNA concentrations in those samples and could also distinguish Zika from dengue.
Collins now hopes to team up with other scientists to further develop the technology for diagnosing Zika. Our professionally produced segments feature people-focused stories covering medical advances and compelling general health information. Association of virus infected-T cell in severe hepatitis caused by primary Epstein–Barr virus infection. It is the only stand-alone application for Mac OS that is able to playback SWF and FLV files with plenty of bonus features.
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Play, pause, rewind and forward flash animations, view them frame-by-frame or zoom the animation in for more detailed view. Download it now and enjoy live television on internet for free with our television player software. Recently, a group of researchers from Imperial College London and Emory University have figured out a method to detect the virus, which will make treatments for HIV infections more effective. The scans won't also reveal the location of a completely dormant virus, but according to Imperial College London's Alan Winston, who wasn't part of the study, having the ability to locate viruses in different areas in the body that have low viral replication is already a big step. Scientists will need to use the protein Cas9 and modify it so it can specifically target the viral code.
These gene networks can be programmed to detect a particular genetic sequence, which causes the paper to change color. Drugs against HIV can only help suppress the viral activity, but not completely get rid of them from the body. This idea of using PET for HIV started when it was discovered that an antibody binds strongly to Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or the considered monkey version of the virus. A patient's blood will then be used and mixed with the edited protein, which will then hunt down the HIV DNA located in the immune cells. Once the protein has found its target, it will release an enzyme that takes down the sequence, consequently eliminating the virus.

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