Right after the 9/11 attacks on the US 10 years ago, there were plenty of alerts raised at airports around the country – and this condition has continued in some way or another until today, and for good reason, too. Well, there were scares of anthrax being sent via mail or carried on-board, but so far all those fears have been proved to be unfounded. Still, it is better to be safe than sorry, which is why researchers at the University of Albany and Cornell University have teamed up to deliver a suitcase sized device which is capable of identifying whether the suspicious looking white powder is really anthrax or otherwise – taking less than an hour to do so. Isn’t that impressive?
The entire device is a true blue labor of love, taking a good seven years to create. It is capable of coming up with a result using samples that contain as little as 40 microscopic spores, where it will “automatically recovers cells, collects and purifies DNA and then conducts real-time polymerase chain reactions” during the detection process to determine whether this is the real stuff or not.
Since it is as small as a suitcase, then surely government crime units would find it to be useful, carrying it around to quell fears if there is a potential anthrax case going on, anywhere, anytime. A lab on wheels, so to speak.