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A novel CRISPR technique for faster detecting COVID-19

2020-05-14 18:09

For faster detecting of COVID-19, in Feburary, Feng Zhang’s Broad institute and McGovern Institute for Brain Research of MIT, together come out a high efficiency CRISPR detecting technique targeting coronavirus RNA, within one hour. Currently this method is not proved by FDA yet.


This detecting technique is based on the SHERLOCK technique published on “Science” in 2017 by Zhang’s team. It uses Cas13a and gRNA to recognize RNA sequence of virus in sample. Besides, they also add a type of special particle linked by an short RNA. If the Cas13a is activated, this particle also will be cut, and this result is easy to be observed. However the sample must go for isothermal amplification before adding these reagents, and there is potential chance about contamination of sample during the process.


To improve this technique for COVID-19 detecting, Zhang’s team simplified the process by making amplification and CRISPR reaction synchronized, for reducing the chance of contamination, and renamed the technique STOP (SHERLOCK Testing in One Pot). By using STOP for detecting COVID-19 in this February, it shows 100% specificity and 97% sensitivity.




[1] New CRISPR-based test for Covid-19 could be a simple, cheap at-home diagnostic, scientists say. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/05/crispr-covid-19-test-could-be-simple-cheap-at-home-diagnostic/
[2] STOPCOVID. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.stopcovid.science/