Broad and Wyss scientists have used an RNA-targeting CRISPR enzyme to detect the presence of as little as a single target molecule. SHERLOCK (Specific High Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter UnLOCKing) could one day be used to respond to viral and bacterial outbreaks, monitor antibiotic resistance, and detect cancer.
Demonstrated applications included:
- Detecting the presence of Zika virus in patient blood or urine samples within hours;
- Distinguishing between the genetic sequences of African and American strains of Zika virus;
- Discriminating specific types of bacteria, such as E. coli;
- Detecting antibiotic resistance genes;
- Identifying cancerous mutations in simulated cell-free DNA fragments; and
- Rapidly reading human genetic information, such as risk of heart disease, from a saliva sample.
The tool can be paper-based, not requiring refrigeration, and suited for fast deployment at field hospitals or rural clinics.
Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston – Featuring: Joi Ito, Ed Boyden, Roz Picard, George Church, Tom Insel, John Rogers, Jamshid Ghajar, Phillip Alvelda and Nathan Intrator – September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab