destinyland writes "NWU professor Chad Mirkin discusses his company's new 'lab-on-a-chip' technology — the ability to automatically treat a blood sample with chemicals on a microchip, quickly detecting markers for diseases and other anomalies. The quick 'bio-barcode' test creates the possibility of a medical diagnostic system in every home, since it offers greater sensitivity than current tests with simpler instruments and at lower costs. This is not a futuristic technology; four tests already have received FDA clearances, so 'They're here.... It's in hospitals around the country. Really, what we are waiting for is just an increasing menu [of tests]... It will scale rapidly.'" Reader Trintech sent word of a similar chip developed by Fraunhofer reseachers, writing, "The core element of this new chip is a disposable cartridge made of plastic which can be fitted with various types of sensors. To perform an assay, the doctor only has to place the relevant substances (reagents, etc.) into the cartridge and the test then takes place automatically. It is the researchers' hope that, by using this chip, medical patients will be able to get their lab results in a matter of minutes instead of days."
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