A newly developed nanosized sensor can detect minuscule levels of prion proteins that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and other diseases in animals and humans (Varshney M et al. Anal Chem. 2008;80:2141-2148). The sensor, developed by scientists at Cornell University in Ithaca and Innovative Biotechnologies International Incorporated, in Grand Island, NY, resembles a tiny tuning fork that changes vibrational resonant frequency when prions bind to it.
Hampton T. Prion Sensor. JAMA. 2008;299(21):2500. doi:10.1001/jama.299.21.2500-b