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Ashlyn Holloway

Period 2
Honors biology

New test stalks diseases early!


Do you always notice weird changes in your body? Do you ever go to the doctor and get
unexpected news? Do you ever hear that its too late and cant be fixed? If not have this
happened to someone you know? Well no more of that. Thanks to new technology and its
advances, Chemists have created a powerful new test that will tell you have the disease before
you get it.
The new technique detects antibodies. Antibodies are proteins. And measuring them is
more cumbersome than studying DNA. Some tests dont work well because they force proteins
into unnatural shapes. Other tests keep proteins in their normal shape but require expensive
chemicals or special equipment. Typically, antibodies are fished out of blood samples by adding
molecular bait. They attached short pieces of DNA to the bait. They used two DNA bits.
Lets call them A and B. For PCR to work, the A and B strands need to be side-by-side
but this would hardly ever occur when the bait floats randomly in a solution. However, when
antibodies glom onto the bait, the A and B fragments are much more likely to come close
together close enough for the PCR to work. PCR makes huge numbers of copies of a desired
bit of DNA. If it made lots of the bait DNA, scientists would realize which antibodies had been
present, even if there had been only tiny amounts as would occur in the early stages of a
disease. (Landhuis, Esther. "Gotcha! New Test Stalks Diseases Early." Student Science. N.p., n.d.
Web. 20 Apr. 2016.)
This can help lots of diseases such as heart disease. The test looks for cells that normally
line the insides of blood vessels. When those cells, called endothelial cells, start to build up in the
blood, researchers say they may be an early indicator of trouble. Another disease that can be
cured is Parkinsons disease. Patients are often diagnosed only after they have developed
symptoms and brain cells have already been destroyed. While there is no cure for Parkinsons,
early detection allows treatment with medication and physiotherapy to begin, which may slow
the deterioration of motor functions in patients. Because diagnosing the disease is a process of

elimination, and the symptoms mimic those of other neurological disorders, patients are also at
risk being diagnosed and treated for the wrong disease. (Davey, Melissa. "Blood Test to Detect
Parkinson's disease could lead to Earlier Treatment." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media,
19 Apr. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.)
Scientist work hard to show that this new method works. The Stanford team is working to
validate its test with saliva from the public-health lab. If successful, the test could screen large
populations of people for HIV infection at the most valuable time for starting treatment. The
researchers also are hoping to develop their assay for type 1 diabetes, the kind that can start
during childhood. The immune systems in people with this disease make harmful antibodies.
Those antibodies trigger the killing of cells in the pancreas. Thats the organ that makes the
hormone insulin. (The other form of diabetes known as type 2 is not an autoimmune
disease. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells dont use it as well as they
should.) Srinath Sanda is a pediatrician and researcher at the University of California, San
Francisco. He sees a lot of kids with diabetes. He thinks the new assay looks promising. Having
a fast, accurate assay could help determine a patients type of diabetes and ensure they receive
the right treatment, he says.
In conclusion this is why the new technology will work. This will cure many diseases
before they even appear. This can help you before you get those strange changes in your body.
And this will help you know before its too late.