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The Next Test

The US has struggled to provide tests to diagnose who may have COVID-19, and the Los Angeles Times writes that there is another testing challenge ahead.

It adds that a test to determine whether someone has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and recovered will be needed. Such an antibody assay would be able to identify people who may be immune to the disease and could go back to work, care for those who are ill, or provide blood for convalescent plasma treatments. The LA Times adds that this type of testing could also give an indication of when the pandemic might end.

But, as the LA Times notes, SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays are only available in US research labs — researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine, for instance, have created a serum antibody test, it notes — have not been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, and have not been developed for broad use.

"The scientific and practical hurdles that come with fielding an antibody assay are legion, and scientists worry that, as with the COVID-19 diagnostic tests, their efforts will come too late to help," the LA Times writes.

The Scan

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.

Lupus Heterogeneity Highlighted With Single-Cell Transcriptomes

Using single-cell RNA sequencing, researchers in Nature Communications tracked down immune and non-immune cell differences between discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Rare Disease Clues Gleaned From Mobile Element Insertions in Exome Sequences

With an approach called MELT, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics uncovered mobile element insertions in exomes from 3,232 individuals with or without developmental or neurological abnormalities.

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.