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The firm plans to release a research-use-only version of its test by the end of the year, and is still hoping for FDA clearance in 2019.

Sensitivity problems with rapid antigen tests are also helping the more accurate rapid molecular tests gain wider acceptance, manufacturers said.

The molecular test can provide results in 30 minutes from nasal swabs on a palm-sized instrument.

Faster Flu Vaccines?

Synthetic Genomics is working on speeding up flu vaccine production, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

In Life Sciences, CEO Thomas Joyce noted a strong performance by Beckman Coulter, while in Diagnostics, he said Cepheid grew 25 percent year over year. 

Abbott's CFO said he expects mid-single-digit growth from diagnostics in Q1 2018 and mid-to-high single digit growth for the full year. 

The first available test on the PCR-based Accula platform will be for the diagnosis of influenza A and B virus infection.

The company's microchip-based technology will detect viral and bacterial genetic material using both isothermal amplification and electrochemical measurements.

The new instrument has higher throughput than competing systems, while the flu test boasts enhanced sensitivity and protection against seasonal drift.

The Xpert Xpress Flu can detect both influenza A and B virus in 20 minutes from either nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs.

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Russian CRISPR researcher moves along with plans to ultimately alter the genes of embryos of deaf couples, though awaits regulatory approval, Nature News reports.

University of California, San Francisco, researchers have uncovered a gene mutations that appears to make a father-son duo more efficient sleepers.

NPR reports a large health insurer has begun to cover some pharmacogenetic tests for psychiatric drugs.

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of non-syndromic orofacial cleft subtypes, epigenetic and transcriptomic analysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and more.