Press Press

Do we need another anthrax test?

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 17 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1193
  1. Gavin Yamey, deputy editor, wjm—Western Journal of Medicine (
  1. San Francisco

    Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have unveiled a new test for anthrax “that can spot the microbe's DNA signature within 35 minutes,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported on 6 November. The “unveiling” excited the rest of the US media, and why shouldn't it, for a new and rapid way of diagnosing this deadly disease must surely be a triumph?

    The lead researcher, Franklin Cockerill, did his best to persuade journalists at a press conference last week that the discovery was indeed a breakthrough. The rapid test, he said, will allow for speedier treatment of people exposed to anthrax. It will …

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