It’s best for Canada to be “over-prepared” for the fallout of COVID-19 rather than the alternative. That was the message Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, delivered March 20 during a ministers briefing outlining plans to boost domestic medical supplies. And for the next pandemic, imaging technology developed by Simon Fraser University researchers will be prepped for deployment in coronavirus testing kits that will come much cheaper than the current offerings. “You adapt and you have to respond to future emergencies just as you have to be able to respond to the current ones,” said Paul Unrau, an SFU molecular biology and biochemistry professor who helped develop the new technology known as Mango with post-doctoral fellow Lena Dolgosheina. The brightly coloured imaging tech detects RNA in cells using an aptamer, which functions similar to a magnet as it targets and binds fluorescent dye molecules that glow brightly when bound. RNA molecules modified to contain the aptamer stand out compared with other parts of a cell so researchers can see them easily under a microscope. “Testing on humans is quite a different thing than testing on tissue culture, but we’re...