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Testing Interest Piqued

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of rapid at-home or point-of-care diagnostic tests, the Verge reports.

It writes that before the pandemic, a number of companies and academic research labs were interested in developing rapid molecular tests, but that their work was in early stages or ran up against limited interest from larger companies that were needed to take testing to the next level. But with the pandemic, interest in rapid testing skyrocketed, the Verge adds, noting that there has been increased funding from the US National Institutes of Health and that the Food and Drug Administration was allowing tests under Emergency Use Authorizations.

As the Verge adds, FDA authorized tests from Cepheid and Abbott as well as other tests from Cue Health, Lucira Health, and Visby Medical.

The next question, the Verge says, is whether that attention and investment will last. Adam de la Zerda, founder and CEO of Visby, Zerda tells it that further investment could better prepare the US for future viral threats. "If we had access to these tests in high volumes [at the start of the pandemic], we probably would be in a very different position right now," he says.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.