Researchers led by Chad Mirkin, PhD, at Northwestern University report in the February 22 issue of Science that they have developed a new technology simplifying DNA detection that could lead to the creation of a handheld device that is more accurate, less expensive, and faster than conventional methods. The method involves a pairing of microelectrodes and gold nanoparticle probes that is 10 times more sensitive and 100 000 times more selective than conventional methods. Eventually it could be used to quickly detect biological weapons such as anthrax and smallpox as well as genetic and pathogenic diseases.
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