A rapid test that detects all known COVID-19 variants, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant, has been developed by researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. The test, which can be performed at laboratories experienced in COVID-19 testing can quickly detect clinical samples that contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus with signature mutations for each known variant of concern—namely, the Alpha, Beta/Gamma, Delta and Omicron variants. The test uses special probes called “sloppy molecular beacons” that perform particularly well at detecting mutations in organisms that mutate frequently. These probes work even if other mutations unexpectedly develop near a mutation of interest. To read the full story.