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Medicine Science

This Chip Can Tell If You've Been Poisoned 36

sciencehabit writes "When you are dealing with a deadly poison that can be found in food and is a potential terrorist weapon, you want the best detection tools you can get. Now, researchers in France have demonstrated an improved method to detect the most deadly variant of the botulinum neurotoxin, which causes botulism. Their test — essentially, a lab on a tiny chip (abstract) — provides results faster than the standard method and accurately detects even low concentrations of the toxin."
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This Chip Can Tell If You've Been Poisoned

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  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@NOsPam.hackish.org> on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:38AM (#46851727)

    Weirdly, some hippie, sex-loving, heterodox Hindu preacher's followers tried it in 1984 [wikipedia.org], infecting 751 people in Oregon with salmonella. But it didn't kill anyone.

    Their hope had been that everyone would stay home sick from the local elections, so they'd be able to vote in their preferred candidate.

  • Re:Put on cans? (Score:4, Informative)

    by WoOS ( 28173 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:15AM (#46851857)

    From the article on botulism [wikipedia.org] it appears that commercially canned goods are safe (and even terrorist would have a problem to get the toxin into the can after sealing and cooking which destroys spores and toxin). And on home-made goods it might be a bit difficult to enforce attachment of a chip on every glass of canned fruits.

    The analyzed attack vectors seem to be (according to the German wikipedia entry on the toxin [wikipedia.org], the english one is too occupied with medical use) milk, water and air. All of them do not lend well to chip attachment.

    Actually the chip talked about is for analyzing a patient's blood sample (see TFA) to detect he has been poisoned, not for detecting it in food.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas