Testing for Malaria On the Go
Scientists at the University of Washington (UW) have created a simple, disposable test for malaria that could prove particularly valuable in countries that lack reliable health care.
What separates this test from others like it is that the reacting proteins used can withstand warm temperatures for long periods. Usually reagents must be refrigerated in order to work, which presents a huge barrier to developing tests for places that lack steady electricity. Paul Yager, a professor of bioengineering at UW, and his colleagues dried antibodies with sugar in a way that allowed them to survive for over two months in warm temperatures.
Tiny channels inside the credit-card-size device direct a patient’s blood sample to testing sites where antibodies bind to malarial proteins, creating colored spots that a portable, automated reader (dubbed the DxBox) interprets.
With funding from the Gates Foundation, the team plans to collaborate with other groups, including Micronics, Nanogen, and PATH, to create more cards that can test for other diseases, including the flu and the measles. Other groups are trying to develop cheap and compact diagnostic tests for everything from cancer to heart attacks. But this seems like an impressive step toward a small, rugged test that could remain reliable and accurate even in harsh conditions.
The inside story of how ChatGPT was built from the people who made it
Exclusive conversations that take us behind the scenes of a cultural phenomenon.
How Rust went from a side project to the world’s most-loved programming language
For decades, coders wrote critical systems in C and C++. Now they turn to Rust.
Design thinking was supposed to fix the world. Where did it go wrong?
An approach that promised to democratize design may have done the opposite.
Sam Altman invested $180 million into a company trying to delay death
Can anti-aging breakthroughs add 10 healthy years to the human life span? The CEO of OpenAI is paying to find out.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.