Doctors, epidemiologist, virologists and medical scientists are trying to find cures for the Ebola virus that has plagued the African countries and is spreading around the United States. The lasts news talks about a new test that can diagnose the Ebola symptoms in just 30 minutes.
The new test uses blotting papers and was developed by a team of scientists lead by specialist Jim Collins. Dr. Collins is an expert in synthetic biology and works for Harvard University.
The new test can diagnose the Ebola symptoms in half an hour. The team of experts has developed the prototype test in only 12 hours and it cost the $20.
The test that can diagnose Ebola symptoms in 30 minutes uses a DNA programmed blotting paper and could give doctors a simple disease test that will help them put a diagnosis faster and treat the Ebola patients more efficiently.
The test uses a mix of biological ingredients like the RNA genetic material. The scientists can freeze this biological mix and preserve it on the tiny piece of paper. The powder can then be reactivated by adding water.
Dr. Jim Collins said that:
“In a period of just 12 hours, two of my team managed to develop 24 sensors that would detect different regions of the Ebola genome, and discriminate between the Sudan and the Zaire strains.”
This would be a much cheaper alternative to the normal antibodies tests that cost more than a thousand dollars to make.
The new test can diagnose the Ebola symptoms in 30 minutes cannot be used in the areas where the epidemic is happening the moment but scientists say that this prototype test can be an inspiration for creating a test that can be used.
At the moment, Ebola symptoms can be tested in the laboratories, which is a very expensive procedure. One of the tests that can diagnose Ebola symptoms is called RT-PCR, which costs somewhere between £40 and £130. This test can take at least six hours to develop and are not always effective in establishing a correct diagnosis. The test needs to be run at least twice for each blood sample in order to be 100% effective.