A man in the Northern Territory recently received a "weak positive" test result for COVID-19. Understanding how coronavirus tests work shows us why this can happen from time to time.
Understanding terms like sensitivity and specificity can help us make sense of COVID-19 testing, the accuracy of tests and what the results mean.
Testing large numbers of people regularly would reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the US. Laboratory testing is slow and expensive, but rapid screening tests could be the answer.
To control the COVID-19 pandemic through random testing would require about 6.5 million test a day. Using group testing and machine learning could get that number down to fewer than 40,000 day.
As we start to test people without symptoms for COVID-19, the likelihood of generating false positive tests goes up. Here's why that's a problem.
Expanding coronavirus testing is one of the most important tasks public health officials are tackling right now. But questions over accuracy of the two main types of tests have rightly caused concern.
A test that tells you with 94% accuracy that you have had coronavirus seems like a game-changer...until you do the maths.
More people are sending off saliva samples to find out about their genetic roots. But the raw DNA results go way beyond genealogical data – and could deliver unintended consequences.
Unfortunately, there is no net benefit-ometer for breast cancer screening.