Have you ever wondered what it would be like if healthcare providers were able to detect a person’s past and present viral infections with just a simple drop of blood? Researchers from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have made this possible with a new method called VirScan. This recently developed technology makes it possible to discover more than 1,000 pathogens at once, while traditional blood tests can only test and examine one pathogen at a time. With the cost of $25 per blood sample, this new approach will assist healthcare professionals in identifying multiple factors that could be affecting a patient’s health. How does it work? The scientists of HHMI developed peptides (fragments from viruses) that allow them to determine whether a patient has a previous or current viral exposure. By testing approximately 569 people from Peru, the United States, South Africa, and Thailand, scientists were able to test an individual’s blood for antibodies to any of the 206 virus species that are known to infect humans. The 569 people tested were discovered to have an average of 10 different virus species each. Not only is VirScan able to detect multiple viral infections at once, researchers can also investigate the difference between how the exposure of a certain virus can associate with the probability of developing a different disease in the future. With access to this vital information, researchers have the opportunity to construct methods to prevent major diseases and cancers. VirScan is an incredible breakthrough for medical diagnostics as it allows scientists to receive a much larger understanding of the genome of viruses and about the implications of the countless number of diseases. Looking towards the future, this superior method of blood testing has the ability to expand the healthcare industry’s knowledge of human viruses and their causes. It is inevitable that many more amazing discoveries will result with VirScan.