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Ptooie!

Most people would consider it a bad idea to spit on expensive electronics, but this case might be an exception. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology are developing a process to diagnose diseases quickly and easily — the process involves saliva and an iPhone, reports Forbes. The researchers say the sensitive touch screen of the iPhone and other smartphones could be used like diagnostic chips. A droplet of fluid would be pressed to the phone's touch screen for "instant disease detection," Forbes says, without the added expense of sending a sample to a lab to analysis. "The KAIS innovation harnesses a touchscreen’s 'capacitive sensitivity,' its ability to sense a fingertip's electrical charge," Forbes adds. "The iPhone touch screen's sensitivity extends far beyond that needed to sense a finger touch or tap, leading researchers to speculate what else it could detect, such biomarkers in bodily fluids signifying the presence of disease."

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.