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New test detects COVID-19 variants in your spit

With the delta variant wreaking havoc on unvaccinated populations, the ability to quickly diagnose and track emerging variants of the virus is crucial. Researchers have now created a simple, inexpensive, CRISPR-based diagnostic test that allows users to test themselves for multiple variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus at home, using just a sample of their saliva.

Developed by researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and several Boston-area hospitals, the diagnostic device, called Minimally Instrumented SHERLOCK (miSHERLOCK), is easy to use and provides results that can be read and verified by an accompanying smartphone app within one hour.