Wednesday September 18, 2019

FDA Gives Market Authorisation For Zika Diagnostic Test

A Zika diagnostic test developed by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis was newly granted market authorisation

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Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia,Feb. 11, 2016. VOA

A Zika diagnostic test developed by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis was newly granted market authorisation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to a press release posted on the website of the university on Wednesday, using an antibody as well as other components to detect anti-Zika antibodies in the blood of people recently infected with the virus, the test can detect signs of Zika infection in serum samples within 12 weeks of infection, the Xinhua news agency reported.

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Scientists develop nanotechnology based test that detects Zika virus. Wikimedia Commons

The test is not meant to be used as a stand-alone proof of infection. The FDA recommends that the test be used only for people with symptoms of recent infection, as well as a history of living in or travelling to geographic regions where Zika circulates. Positive results should be confirmed in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Zika virus can cause babies to be born with devastating brain damage. But the signs of Zika infection in adults: rash, fever, headache and body aches, are nonspecific, so a pregnant woman who develops such symptoms can’t be sure if she has contracted Zika or something less risky for her fetus.

“This test, along with another that detects viral genetic material at very early stages of infection, will help women and their doctors make informed health-care decisions,” said Michael S. Diamond, a co-inventor of the technology that underlies the test and a professor of molecular microbiology and of pathology and immunology at Washington University.  (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Plans Test to Let Users Hide ‘Like’ Counts

The company said the purpose behind the move is to remove the pressure among users who are concerned about the reach of their posts and impressions

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

After Instagram, Facebook is also considering a test where it will give users an option to publicly hide the ‘Like’ count on their posts.

App researcher Jane Manchun Wong has found the code inside Facebook’s Android app that hides the exact amount of likes on a post from everyone but the original poster, TechCrunch reported on Monday.

Facebook confirmed “that it’s considering a test that would hide like counts, but that the test hasn’t started running yet”.

Facebook owned photo-messaging app Instagram has expanded the feature to six more countries Where a post’s author can see the like total but everyone else can’t.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

First announced in May in Canada, users in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand will also be able to hide the ‘Like’ count on their posts.

The company said the purpose behind the move is to remove the pressure among users who are concerned about the reach of their posts and impressions.

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“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, said during a conference in California, in April. (IANS)