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Test for Them All

New tests can detect SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viruses like influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, the New York Times reports. It adds that such tests could be helpful come the next flu season.

This past flu season was mild, the Times notes, but as more children may then be back at in-person school and as mask-wearing may decline, the flu may be more prevalent next season. University of Washington's Geoffrey Baird tells it that people will then want to know whether they have the flu or SARS-CoV-2.

One PCR-based test from Cepheid detects two influenza viruses and RSV as well as SARS-CoV-2, while Roche has a test that detects influenza A and B in addition to SARS-CoV-2 and a test from bioMérieux detects more than 20 viruses and bacteria, the Times reports, noting that some labs have further developed their own in-house multiplex tests.

One question facing test-makers is just how many viruses and bacteria to include on their panels, the Times adds. It also notes that most people used to not be interested in knowing exactly which pathogen was causing their respiratory symptoms, but as Alexandra Valsamakis from Roche Diagnostics Solutions tells it, COVID-19 has changed that.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.