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Remote Testing for Influenza?

Picture of clinician using microscope.Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a microchip-based test that may allow more labs to diagnose influenza infections and learn more about the pathogenic viruses.

The FluChip successfully distinguished among 72 influenza strains - including the H5N1 avian influenza strain - in less than 12 hours. Bichip can be used at lower levels of biosafety, which may increase the number of labs that can determine critical details of a virus's origin.

FluChip is constructed by a robotic arm dropping thousands of spots of DNA and RNA onto a microscope slide in a known sequence. The spots are exposed to sample material and scientises can then compare gene sequences to identify the virus.

It seems to me that this technology could be the basis for remote diagnosis, maybe using the silicon biotechnology I talked about in this FHIT post.


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