New CRISPR-based Platform Could Soon Diagnose Diseases From the Comfort of Your Home
Constant research is going on in the area of predicting an impending disease with the help of technology. Though we are not close to predicting diseases, we sure have made great advancements in the field of instant diagnosis.
The prime example that can be shown in 2018 for such an invention is the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) indicator from Mammoth Biosciences. The credit-card sized device envisioned by the company will give the user information on whether he or she has contracted any diseases or adverse health conditions.
The CRISPR tech will also come with a companion app that will instantly give you reports on the test. With this point-of-care test, the team wants to simplify the way we interact with testing and diagnosing diseases, in an affordable way.
This card-sized instrument will be laid out with CRISPR proteins. Whenever the test subject is made to contact with the proteins, the CRISPR proteins will start the hunt for the programmed disease DNAs and other infections.
If the proteins find any disease that it is programmed to detect, the protein with light up. The users can then send the photograph directly to Mammoth Biosciences, where the company will revert with the result and possible solutions within 30 minutes.
This revolutionary testing technique can even detect cancers and infections. Since the test is done with the use of CRISPR, it can detect signatures from bacteria, viruses or mutations from bodily fluids like blood, saliva or urine.
Mammoth CEO, Trevor Martin remarked, “Imagine a world where you could test for the flu right from your living room and determine the exact strain you've been infected with or rapidly screen for the early warning signs of cancer.” He also added, “That's what we're aiming to do at Mammoth -- bring affordable testing to everyone.”
For those of you who are new to the term CRISPR, it is a tool that can be used for genome editing. It is a programmable protein that can cut and dice a specific DNA signature.
Co-founder, Jennifer Doudna, and her colleagues first proposed the study earlier this year by demonstrating the CRISPR’s ability to successfully detect viruses like HPV and Zika. The new tech proposed by the company, however, might take few years to reach to the market.
Researchers are increasingly exploring the versatility and applications of CRISPR in various medical treatment and diagnosis methods. Recently, scientists at Salk Institute developed a tool to target RNA to cut and replace disease-causing genes with the healthy ones.
In another research, scientists at UCLA achieved a breakthrough in speeding up the genome editing by tweaking CRISPR. The new method allowed the edit multiple genes at once and helped in providing a firm diagnosis of the disease.