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China Invents One-hour SARS Virus Test
2003-11-03 00:00

China has introduced a testing method which can detect the presence of
severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus within one hour, experts
said Sunday.

The method, based on the sequencing of the virus' genome, was jointly
developed by the Beijing Genome Institute under the Chinese Academy of
Sciences and the Institute of Microbial Epidemics Affiliated to the
Medical Research Institute of the People's Liberation Army.

The new method uses the specially-modified protein of the virus to
detect the presence of a type of antibody which the body produces as a
response to infection with the virus, according to experts, who said that
the presence of the antibody is an absolutely certain indicator of the
existence of the virus.

The method is safe, inexpensive and requires a relatively small sample
for testing, and, most strikingly, it produces accurate results within
one hour.

The PLA's Microbial Epidemic Institute's previous test produced results
in about two hours.
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