Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Test of Antibodies

A new antibody test is being used in Singapore and China to try to identify people who have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 outbreak, according to NPR. It notes that the US is working to develop its own.

This test, it notes, differs from the one being used in the US to diagnose people with COVID-19, and instead uncovers people who were exposed to virus and built up antibodies to it. This way, people who were infected but didn't show any symptoms and those who might have been misdiagnosed could be identified. 

That information, NPR says, could help answer a number of questions about the outbreak. It notes that if many people have been infected but haven't fallen ill that could suggest the virus isn't as lethal as it seems. Additionally, this test could help understand whether children aren't getting COVID-19 because they aren't exposed or if they are exposed but just not getting sick, it says.

NPR further adds that researchers could test older, stored blood samples to determine whether this virus has been circulating among people before being noticed through the ongoing outbreak.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.