A coalition of scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard unveiled a new CRISPR tool today that could be a game changer in the technology we use to diagnose disease. The new tool, known scientifically as Cas13 and dubbed SHERLOCK, is more nimble than its well-known gene editing brother Cas9. It can detect much smaller molecules, so it could be used to gather information about disease much more quickly and efficiently. The scientists demonstrated its abilities by using it to diagnose viral diseases like Zika and bacteria like E. coli. It was also able to quickly read “human genetic information, such as risk of heart disease, from a saliva sample,” according to a press release.
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