Science

Make Way for Better Germ Tests

The FDA should not delay the use of DNA technology to diagnose infections.

Infected.

Photographer: AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS

Every year, millions of people see their doctors for relief of some kind of infection -- a cold, a fever, food poisoning or something more serious -- but doctors can rarely pin down the exact cause. In many cases, it’s hard to tell even whether the bug is a bacteria or a virus. That’s a huge difference, akin to not knowing whether the food on your plate is animal or vegetable.

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