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Different Way for Lab Tests

Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford University about 10 years ago to start a blood-testing company called Theranos that only requires a small amount of blood, rather than vials of it, for testing, Wired writes. The prices for the company's services, which are currently offered at through one Walgreens in California, are also quite low and rapid, Wired notes.

Holmes tells Wired that she was moved to start the company so that people could get needed labs tests before they wound up in the emergency room and without having to use needles. "We wanted to make this service convenient, to bring it to places close to people’s homes, and to offer rapid results," she says.

She says that all the company's tests — according to its website, the company offers a range of tests, from platelet counts to fasting glucose and from chlamydia to hepatitis B — can be turned around in about four hours.

"[W]e had to develop assays or test methodologies that would make it possible to accelerate results," Holmes says. "So we do not do things like cultures. In the case of a virus or bacteria, traditionally tested using a culture, we measure the DNA of the pathogen instead so we can report results much faster."