A Drop of The Past
Blood Testing – A Past That Can’t Be Outrun
There’s a new test on the block, which can identify viruses that were in your system. The new blood testing method known as VirScan is able to detect the presence of multiple viruses in your history and acts as an alternative to regular sampling methods, which only test for the presence of one virus at a time. The beauty of VirScan is that it is an inexpensive means to identify every single past viral illness you may have had as well as every viral illness you may currently have.
How does VirScan work?
The process, although complex in its creation, is a simple one. A blood sample is taken and the test then searches and shifts through the blood cells, checking for the presence of antibodies. A more in-depth explanation would be that a collection of artificial protein particles was collected, each representing a specific pathogen that an antibody would recognize. When the protein particles are added to the blood, pre-existing antibodies in the blood will attach themselves to the corresponding fragment. These can then be isolated and by analyzing which antibody paired with which artificial protein, scientists can conclude on which pathogens a person has had prior exposure to, due to the presence of certain antibodies.
What are antibodies?
Antibodies are proteins that can be found in blood and their function is to identify and eliminate foreign pathogens in your body such as viruses and bacteria. There are 206 species of virus that are known to infect people and there are also 206 known antibodies which can combat the varying infectious pathogens. Regardless of whether or not you are healthy and your body has overcome a specific illness, your body will continue to produce antibodies against that specific pathogen for many years to come. The method is also being used to identify antibodies which can attack the carriers, the person who has given the blood sample, tissue. This attack will often occur with autoimmune diseases that are linked to cancer.
Scientists from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute developed this method in order to aid health professionals in the identification and treatment of an ailment while taking into consideration the fact that past viral infections could play a role in present treatment options. The beauty of it is that aside from diagnosing present and past infections, it can aid medical researchers in the development of vaccines.
However, you need to remember that it is not fully comprehensive as of yet and it may not list every single thing that you have developed antibodies against. The antibodies for certain pathogens don’t linger as long as others, which means they may “disappear” from your system without you realizing it. This is why it is important to always keep track of your medical history regardless of the technological advancements that we make in society today.
The benefits of VirScan are limitless and this research could help expert witnesses in cases where blood samples were collected. This could help find the true perpetrator of the crime while ensuring that no innocent person is convicted of a crime that they did not commit. If you feel as if you need to talk to an expert, don’t hesitate to contact us.