Questions for “A glowing new way to measure antibodies”

Researchers have developed an innovative way to measure the concentration of protective antibodies (the Y-shaped proteins depicted above) in someone’s blood.

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To accompany “A glowing new way to measure antibodies


Before Reading:

1. What are antibodies? How does the body use them?

2. Antibody sensors have made a lot of news in terms of COVID-19. Why do you think they’d be important for the medical community and health officials?

During Reading:

1.  How does the story describe the function of antibodies?

2.  Existing technologies exist to find and measure antibodies. Why did Maarten Merkx and his team feel a new one was needed?

3.  What are two special features of the new antibody tests?

4.  There are two layers or strings in the new sensor. What does each do?

5.  How can a smartphone be used along with this new technology?

6.  Why would the new sensors be especially useful in remote clinics, according to the story?

After Reading:

1.  Antibody tests usually can’t tell you whether someone is sick right now. Why do you think that is? Why might it still be useful to test whether someone had been sick with a disease in the past?

2.  What three antibodies would you like to see tested at once? Explain your choices.