A new and inexpensive gene chip developed by scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can detect and identify flu viruses, including H5N1 avian influenza (Dawson ED et al. Anal Chem. 2006;78:7610-7615).
Unlike the FluChip, a flu diagnostic previously developed by the same research team, the new MChip consists of 15 distinct DNA sequences that detect segments within the influenza virus's matrix gene, which mutates less often than typical flu genes. Therefore, the MChip may not need to be updated to keep up with the changing nature of viruses.
Hampton T. Flu Chip. JAMA. 2006;296(24):2916. doi:10.1001/jama.296.24.2916-c