Summary of “This company is making an at-home CRISPR kit to find out what’s making you sick”

A new biotech company co-founded by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna is developing a device that uses CRISPR to detect all kinds of diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and Zika.
The applications extend beyond that: The same technology could be used in agriculture, to determine what’s making animals sick or what sorts of microbes are found in soil, or even in the oil and gas industry, to detect corrosive microbes in pipelines, says Trevor Martin, the CEO of Mammoth Biosciences, who holds a PhD in biology from Stanford University.
CRISPR can look for precise bits of genetic code, and so it can be engineered to detect a genetic sequence that belongs to a particular virus like Zika.
These tools – developed by the labs of both CRISPR pioneers Doudna at UC Berkeley and Feng Zhang at MIT – pair CRISPR with enzymes like Cas12a and Cas13a.
These systems allow CRISPR to detect specific DNA or RNA, another major biological molecule, and then snip a “Reporter molecule” that releases a fluorescent signal.
Zhang’s team at MIT is also developing a CRISPR paper test, called SHERLOCK, but is not involved in Mammoth Biosciences, and Martin says he can’t comment on their work.
“We’re just always excited when the potential of CRISPR is further reinforced.”
As for the name of the company? It’s a “Cheeky play” on the idea that CRISPR could be used – at least theoretically – to bring back extinct species like mammoths.

The orginal article.