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A rapid, saliva-based test for COVID-19 could enable testing, diagnosis, and prescribing to take place in a single office visit by immediately confirming whether a patient has the infection and needs to be treated, researchers said. The test has sparked commercial interest and earned additional funding from the Canadian government.

The test uses a DNA aptamer—a short, synthetic oligonucleotide that binds to a specific molecular target—that shows high affinity for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its variants. The approach “can be rapidly adapted to different threats,” as well, Leyla Soleymani, PhD, an associate professor of engineering physics at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, told Medscape Medical News. Her team invented the approach. Head over to Medscape to read the full story.