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Biotech Hardware Hacking Science Build

CPU's Heat Output to Amplify DNA Could Make Drastically Cheaper Tests 27

Posted by timothy
from the only-waste-heat-is-wasted dept.
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Researchers have harnessed that heat from a computer CPU to run the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA in a blood sample. The team developed software that cycles the temperature of the CPU to drive PCR's three distinct steps.The method allowed them to detect miniscule amounts of DNA from a pathogenic parasite that causes Chagas disease. They hope their technique will lead to low-cost diagnostic tests in developing countries." (Always good to put waste heat to a practical purpose.)
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CPU's Heat Output to Amplify DNA Could Make Drastically Cheaper Tests

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  • by thesupraman (179040) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @06:03PM (#47820953)

    No, it is a stupid article. Someone has come up with an over-complex solution to a non existent problem.

    The use of the CPU to create temperature is a overly complex and difficult approach, compared to using a simple regulated heater which would be much simpler, more reliable, more repeatable, and cost less.
    Really, they are using a whole computer just to generate the heat, and a separate computer (cellphone) to run the reaction. stupid and overly complex.
    If there is a demand for a usb controlled accurate heat generator it would be trivial to build one with a usb microcontroller, its pwm output, and a heating resistor.
    it would cost less, be more accurate, smaller, waste less power, more reliable, cheaper. I doubt it would be difficult to find a suitable device already from some
    similar application.

    Temperature regulation is absolutely NOT a contributing factor to high cost of such tests.

    Hell, a power supply, some switches, and some resistors would do it if you didnt want automatic control.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.

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