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Open Access Publications from the University of California



SARS-CoV-2, more commonly known as COVID-19, is a novel coronavirus that has spread on a global scale since its emergence in late 2019. The ongoing pandemic fueled researchers to study new COVID-19 detection methods that are more efficient and accurate alongside new mutations that are coming to light. COVID-19 testing has been heavily dominated by the utilization of polymerase chain reactions (PCR). However, PCR testing often takes an extended period of time before individuals receive their results and requires the precision of skilled personnel to handle scientific equipment and conduct readings. PCR testing requires a large number of resources to conduct, making it difficult for individuals within the general community to conveniently and quickly get tested in the case of close exposure. Thus, researchers around the world have been looking for alternative methods of COVID-19 detection that not only are fast and convenient for test-takers but also maintain the same degree of accuracy. Researchers studying genome editing and subsequent CRISPR-Cas systems have found applications to aid in COVID-19 detection. The CRISPR-Cas system coupled with pre-existing Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) methods was discovered to be a viable means of detecting COVID-19 in humans. The combined RT-LAMP and CRISPR-Cas system form of COVID-19 testing proves useful in practice because it requires less machinery, fewer trained individuals to monitor the reactions, and is an overall simpler procedure to perform in larger numbers; subsequently making this new form of COVID-19 detection more viable on a worldwide level. This discussion intends to explore the different experiments on utilizing this new and effective COVID-19 detection method. The drawbacks and limitations of the experiment will also be outlined, as well as implementing this detection method in hopes to revolutionize the future of worldwide disease detection.

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