Test

These Labs Rushed to Test for Coronavirus. They Had Few Takers.

When a stay-at-home order in March all but closed the revered labs of the gene-editing pioneer Jennifer Doudna, her team at the University of California, Berkeley dropped everything and started testing for the coronavirus.

They expected their institute to be inundated with samples since it was offering the service for free, with support from philanthropies. But there were few takers.

Instead, the scientists learned, many local hospitals and doctors’ offices continued sending samples to national laboratory companies — like LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics — even though, early on, patients had to wait a week or more for results. The bureaucratic hurdles of quickly switching to a new lab were just too high.

“It’s still amazing to me, like, how can that be the case, that there is not a more systematic way to address a central need?” said Fyodor Urnov, the scientist who oversaw the transformation of the Innovative Genomics

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F.D.A. Approves First Antigen Test for Detecting the Coronavirus

Unlike commonly available coronavirus tests that use polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, antigen diagnostics work by quickly detecting fragments of virus in a sample. The newly approved Quidel test will rely on specimens collected from nasal swabs, according to the F.D.A., and they can only be processed by the company’s lab instruments.

“Diagnostic testing is one of the pillars of our nation’s response to Covid-19, and the F.D.A. continues to take actions to help make these critical products available,” the agency said in a statement on Saturday. “One of the main advantages of an antigen test is the speed of the test, which can provide results in minutes.” The F.D.A. said it expects to grant emergency clearance for other antigen tests in the near future.

A shortage of coronavirus tests in the United States has hampered efforts to contain the pandemic, and has limited the capabilities of states seeking to

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F.D.A. Clears First Home Saliva Test for Coronavirus

The test kit was developed by a Rutgers University laboratory, called RUCDR Infinite Biologics, in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs. Rutgers received F.D.A. permission last month to collect saliva samples from patients at test sites but can now sell the collection kits for individuals to use at home. They will cost about $100 each, Rutgers said, and must be ordered by a physician.

“A patient can open the kit, spit into the tube, put the cap back on and ship it back to our lab,” said Dr. Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR.

Dr. Brooks said the tests should be used only by people who have Covid-19 symptoms. His lab can process 20,000 tests each day, with a 48-hour turnaround, but he expects other labs to adopt it for their own use.

The spit tests are part of a rapid emergency

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With Crispr, a Possible Quick Test for the Coronavirus

A team of scientists has developed an experimental prototype for a fairly quick, cheap test to diagnose the coronavirus that gives results as simply as a pregnancy test does.

The test is based on a gene-editing technology known as Crispr, and the researchers estimated that the materials for each test would cost about $6.

“We’re excited that this could be a solution that people won’t have to rely on a sophisticated and expensive laboratory to run,” said Feng Zhang, a researcher at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and one of the pioneers of Crispr technology.

On Tuesday, Dr. Zhang and his colleagues posted a description of their device on a website dedicated to their project, but their method has not yet been tested by other scientists, nor have their findings been published by a scientific journal that subjected them to scrutiny by independent experts.

Two other teams of researchers,

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