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Still Going for Small

Diagnostic firms are still pursing what Theranos claimed to offer: the ability to perform clinical tests using only small amounts of blood, Wired reports.

For instance, Wired notes that Genalyte is developing silicon chips with attached antibodies to test for, the company hopes someday, 128 different diseases at a time using about 10 microliters of blood. But, Wired adds that, unlike Theranos, Genalyte has published some data.

But to get to small-volume point-of-care tests, Eugene Chan, president of the DNA Medicine Institute — which won $2.5 million from the X Prize competition to develop a tool akin to a Star Trek tricorder — tells Wired that a number of improvements are needed along the pipeline, from sample collection to transferring such small volumes.

Wired adds Theranos' public downfall uncovered additional hurdles facing the field. Fraud charges were announced this week by the US Securities and Exchange Commission against Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of Theranos, and Ramesh Balwani, its former president, in which the agency alleges they raised more than $700 million from investors by exaggerating or lying about what the company's technology could do.

"People definitely ask us to see the data," Genalyte's CEO Cary Gunn tells Wired.