Clemson University

Emeritus College Online Seminar with Dr. Gary Powell

  • November 10 (Tuesday) 10:00am – 11:30am, Online Seminar: Testing for COVID-19: Science and Politics with Dr. Gary Powell, Professor Emeritus of Genetics and Biochemistry: Rapid and timely testing is key to current policies for returning to normal activities in commerce and sport.  I will describe the biochemical basis of the current tests, innovations that will speed those tests and the reporting required for doing tens of thousands of them.  Testing for this virus is based on specifically detecting a unique nucleotide sequence (20-30 bases) coding for the N protein that is contained within the SARS-coV-2 virus.  I will explain why this method is both specific and why it takes a relatively long time (3 hours) to carry out.  The second method of testing looks for specific antibodies developed by the patient in response to viral infection to report the presence of the virus in samples.  The results are visible within 15 minutes of application of the sample (blood, or serum).  However, because antibodies for the virus are the result of infection, their development can take a week or more.  I will discuss why in February the CDC was slow developing tests here in the USA and why there have been considerable lags in making testing widely available.  As well as, why there were further bottlenecks in obtaining test results and look ahead to what we can expect as testing technology develops. Click HERE to read full description and for links to informational videos to watch prior to the session.

Please contact Nicci Hanewald at with any questions or if you would like information about joining the presentation. 

Click HERE more for information on joining and participating in a ZOOM Meeting.



Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 10:00am to 11:30am

Virtual Event
Event Type



College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, Bioengineering, College of Science, Biological Sciences, Emeritus College, Genetics and Biochemistry, Centers and Institutes, Biomedical Science and Engineering, Watt Family Innovation Center, Genetics and Bioinformatics Facility

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, Staff, Undergraduate, Graduate, Postdocs



No Cost

Contact Name:

Nicci Hanewald

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


Please contact Nicci Hanewald at for more information about joining the presentation.


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