Pioneering effort to detect Ebola
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak that started in West Africa in 2014 has sickened nearly 30,000 people, killing about one third of them. Detection of the Ebola virus is currently the only way to keep the disease from spreading. In the past, Ebola diagnostic tests, or assays, have been considered reliable only up to a point. The Ebola virus doesn't use DNA to store its genetic code. It uses a chemical cousin, called RNA, and extracted RNA degrades easily; one little mistake at the start of a test can ruin the whole thing.
Credit: National Science Foundation
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