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Cheap colour test picks up virus markers

29th October 2012

Researchers at Imperial College London have developed an inexpensive test which shows the presence of HIV and some types of cancer.

hiv virus

The researchers created a test which turned blue to represent a positive result and red to show a negative one.

The team said the test could result in tests for HIV and other illnesses in places where they have previously been too expensive, as this one costs ten times less than current tests.

Their creation, which will need to be tested further, was reported on in the Nature Nanotechnology journal. 

The test detects the presence of a marker of a particular disease - such as HIV or prostate cancer - and changes colour to show if it has found it.

Professor Molly Stevens told the BBC: "This method should be used when the presence of a target molecule at ultra-low concentration could improve the diagnosis of disease."

"For example, it is important to detect some molecules at ultra-low concentrations to test cancer recurrence after tumour removal."

"It can also help with diagnosing HIV-infected patients whose viral load is too low to be detected with current methods." 

 

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