Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Discrepant Results

Scientists in the UK are pushing for an investigation following reports that a number of people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on lateral flow tests then tested negative by PCR, including people with COVID-19-like symptoms, according to the Guardian.

It adds that these reports appear to be concentrated in south-west England, though have also emanated from other parts of the UK.

The Guardian writes that there are a number of theories as to why there might be discrepant results and notes that no test is 100 percent perfect. One thought is that the lateral flow test could be reacting to nucleoprotein of another, seasonal coronavirus, that the PCR test does not pick up, which the Guardian says is unlikely. Another is that there is a new variant, though experts tell the Guardian that is also unlikely.

The University of Birmingham's Alan McNally tells it that an issue in the PCR testing process is a more likely culprit and calls for an audit. "If we rule out a new strain and we rule out cross-reactivity, that points to something within the PCR testing process," he tells the Guardian. "It could be anywhere from the swab being taken, to the test being done, to the result being disseminated."

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.