This is an amazing invention if it can be commercialized and easier to use: a paper strip that changes color if an igfectious disease is present. The researchers demonstrated that they can use the paper to build in sensitivity for ebola: smear ebola on the paper, and it turns purple within an hour. At 4 cents a strip, these paper tests could make a real difference reducing the need and cost for 24 hour genetic tests.
On the other side, these tests need a minimum amount of lab skills to carry out – you first have to extract the viral dna or rna. That isn't exactly as easy as dipping the stripinto a urine sample. But who knows, maybe this problem can also be eliminated to create cheap, universal genetic tests?
Detecting Ebola with a Piece of Paper | MIT Technology Review
Scientists say they can embed sophisticated genetic tests onto a piece of paper.