Emory Students Develop Test for Ebola Virus

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ebola-virus-micrograph-enhansedAccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1.4 million people could contract the Ebola virus by January. In West Africa alone 2,800 lives have been lost to the dreaded disease.

For two students at Emory University in Atlanta, the problem was even more real.  Ambulances went by their biology classroom to transport three Ebola patients for treatment at the university’s hospital, and CDC is right across the street.

Feeling compelled to do something, the two students have invented a fast and accurate test that they say can identify people suffering from Ebola. The test is called “REDS,” which is an acronym for Rapid Ebola Detection Strips.

What started as an extra credit project in a biology class has taken on a life of its own. Having raised $7,000 in just a few days, freshmen Brian Goldstone and Rostam Zafari plan to mass produce the portable kit and make it available to even the most remote areas of Africa.

“It works by using small samples of bodily fluids, such as blood or saliva, and a simple color change on a strip of paper,” Goldstone explained.

The students said that they could be conducting tests using REDS within the week. They realistically believe it could be mass produced and sent to Africa by early 2015.

“Ebola isn’t just a threat to Africa but to all of humanity,” Goldstone concluded

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