This COVID-19 super antibody test could provide new insights into immunity

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Dr. David Walt’s test isn’t just about telling if an individual has had COVID-19. It might change how we develop treatments and vaccines. COVID-19 antibody tests have been the subject of scrutiny since their arrival, but they still represent an important tool in understanding population health. Molecular tests have become the top method of identifying cases of COVID-19. One scientist thinks we should be looking at using a combination of antibody tests, antigen tests, and molecular RNA tests to better understand who has COVID-19 and whether or not they’re actively recovering. Read Full Story

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Is Trump likely to get severe COVID-19? This company thinks genes could reveal clues

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A new study could help illuminate “who gets the sniffles and who ends up in the ICU,” says genetic testing company GoodCell’s chief medical officer. There has been ample speculation about the nature of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, with conflicting reports creating confusion around the severity of his illness. Is the president on the mend, or is his case of COVID-19 about to get a lot worse? GoodCell, a company that offers genetic testing and biobanking, is launching a study to better understand whether genes can tell us something about who is likely to have a bad reaction to COVID-19. Read Full Story

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COVID-19 antibody tests are here. But can you trust them?

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Antibody tests, which show if someone has successfully fought COVID-19, could help people get back to work. But companies are selling them without FDA approval, leading to questions about their accuracy. Companies usually turn to the firm PeopleG2 to run background checks on employees. Now, they can use PeopleG2 to buy up blocks of COVID-19 tests to see if workers have developed immunity to the disease. Read Full Story

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Architects develop a COVID-19 screening booth for no-touch testing

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The architecture studio SITU has developed phone booths for COVID-19 testing, based on a model used successfully in South Korea. Testing for COVID-19 remains one of the biggest challenges in the United States. To meet demand, many cities have established drive-through testing; others, like New York City, have pop-up tents . But no matter how you get tested, you still have to interact with a medical professional, which puts the worker at risk (and you, if you’re not actually sick). The architects at SITU, a New York firm that has worked on everything from urban solar panels to human rights violations , are developing a solution: outdoor screening centers that let you get a COVID-19 test, without having to come into direct contact with anyone else. Read Full Story

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The solution to our COVID-19 testing dilemma: Lots of different kinds of rapid tests

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We need COVID-19 testing that returns results within minutes, and we need a lot of them. The best path is developing many different tests that use different materials so we don’t strain supply chains. For the U.S. to climb its way out of the coronavirus crisis, experts have said we need a rapid, cheap, and effective COVID-19 test. Currently, our existing testing either takes too long to deliver results, is too expensive to be done frequently, or is too painful, which deters people from going. Many options are some combination of all three. But the key to safely returning to the office or sending our kids to school, especially as we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, doesn’t lie in just one “perfect” COVID-19 test: We need multiple rapid and affordable tests, from a variety of supply chains. Read Full Story

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Hospitals are starting to deploy their own coronavirus tests

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With coronavirus tests in short supply and high demand, Johns Hopkins University has launched a homegrown test. Additional labs hope to have them soon. On Friday, Johns Hopkins University announced it had successfully developed a test for COVID-19. The health system says it is currently able to process 50 tests per day. It plans to handle 180 a day by Monday, and hopes to ramp up to 1,000 a day over the next three weeks. Read Full Story

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Opinion: The government should ensure payment for at-home COVID-19 testing

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The CEO of telehealth company Hims & Hers, which is coordinating efforts with the F.D.A., argues that affordable home testing will unburden the health system—and help get the economy going. At-home testing for COVID-19 is crucial for controlling the virus in the United States, which has become the epicenter of the global pandemic. As of writing this, more than 760,000 cases have been confirmed (and that number will have only grown since publication). Read Full Story

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The president of Harvard University has tested positive for COVID-19

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It’s the latest high-profile case in the ongoing coronavirus crisis. In an email to the Harvard community, Larry Bacow, Harvard’s president, says he and his wife, Adele, have both tested positive for COVID-19. On Sunday, they experienced their first symptoms, which included fevers, chills, and muscle aches. On Monday they were tested, and on Tuesday they received the results of the test. They’re among a growing number of high-profile people who have tested positive for the illness in recent days, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and actor Idris Elba. Read Full Story

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