Blood tests can tell us lots of things, and a new test can tell you the kinds of viruses you’ve had to deal with throughout your life. With just one drop of blood, every virus that’s ever infected you can be identified.
According to the creators of the tool, these new tools can assist doctors with the quick detection of new diseases—like hepatitis B—and give new ideas on the true cause and origins of cancer or autoimmune diseases.
This new technology has been aptly named VirScan and makes use of a technology to map genomes to identify the viruses that have terrorized someone in their lifetime.
It does this by looking at the antibodies the body’s immune system has made to combat viruses.
The reason VirScan works is because the immune system usually keeps producing antibodies against a kind of virus even if it isn’t in the body anymore.
Scientist claim that the new DNA-based blood test is dramatically more accurate and comprehensive than traditional blood screening tests. The latter can only provide a diagnosis for a single virus.
According to Prof. Ian Lipkin from the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University: “It has the potential to reveal viruses people have encountered recently or many years earlier … Thus, this is a powerful new research tool.” Professor Lipkin did not contribute not the study.