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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 @05:03PM (#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.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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