A team from National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, has developed a diagnostic system to detect the presence of Merkel cell polyomavirus in Merkel cell carcinoma tumours. Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare and aggressive type of skin cancer. The researchers have developed a test using the CRISPR-CAS12 technology that can identify the virus in the tumour and give off a fluorescence to indicate the presence of the virus. This is an important development, both, from the point of view of diagnostics and giving a prognosis for the condition.
Merkel cell carcinoma is associated with old age, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light and a weak immune system.