New CRISPR-based Rapid Tool to Detect SARS-CoV-2 Virus

Scientists from the University of California – San Diego have developed a new tool based on the CRISPR gene-editing technology, able to rapidly detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is called SENSR (sensitive enzymatic acid sequence reporter) and in the future, it could be used in homes, airports, and other locations for fast diagnosis of the virus.New CRISPR-based Rapid Tool to Detect SARS-CoV-2 Virus

Recently, scientists have employed enzymes such as Cas12a and Cas13a for the creation of highly accurate CRISPR-based diagnostics. Developed similarly, SENSR is the first SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic to leverage the Cas13d enzyme (specifically a ribonuclease effector called “CasRx”).

Senior author of the study, Biological Sciences Professor Omar Akbari of the UC San-Diego, explains: “CRISPR has significantly advanced our capabilities for rapid identification of infected individuals and offers point-of-care testing in low-resource settings that previously wasn't possible. SENSR further opens the toolbox for CRISPR diagnostic systems and will help detect emerging pathogens before they become pandemics.”

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