Crystal listens for telltale sounds of virus | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Crystal listens for telltale sounds of virus

By
2:48pm, August 29, 2001

After successfully testing a device that can hear the movement of a single virus from a drop of fluid, researchers envision a handheld instrument that could detect viral illnesses such as foot-and-mouth disease and Ebola.

The investigators suggest that their acoustic detector could be quicker and more economical than current assays used to identify viruses in blood, saliva, and other bodily fluids. Many of those tests employ expensive enzymes and take days to perform.

The new device depends upon a small piece of quartz crystal similar to the billions of crystals used every year in televisions, VCRs, computers, and phones. The researchers coat one surface of their coin-size quartz disk with antibodies specific to whatever virus they want to detect.

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]
From the Nature Index Paid Content