This origami-like strip of paper helped diagnose malaria in Uganda

The blood is placed on this device and folded before being heated up and placed on a testing strip.

A cheap, origami-like strip of paper accurately detected malaria in 98 percent of cases in a test group of schoolchildren in Uganda. Though paper sensors are nothing new — the most famous examples include some home pregnancy tests — the results from this trial show that such sensors can be promising for helping diagnose disease in rural areas.

Malaria is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases in the world, and after decades of progress, the number of cases is rising again, according to the World Health Organization’s 2018 World Malaria Report. (There were 219 million cases worldwide in 2017, compared to 217 million a year earlier.) Diagnosis, especially in remote areas, is one of the challenges of fighting malaria. Symptoms of…

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