Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Smartphone App/Cradle Can Detect Bacteria and Allergens

Afraid there may be peanuts or other allergens hiding in that cookie? Thanks to a cradle and app that turn your smartphone into a handheld biosensor, you may soon be able to run on-the-spot tests for food safety, environmental toxins, medical diagnostics and more.

The handheld biosensor was developed by researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. A series of lenses and filters in the cradle mirror those found in larger, more expensive laboratory devices. Together, the cradle and app transform a smartphone into a tool that can detect toxins and bacteria, spot water contamination and identify allergens in food.

Kenny Long, a graduate researcher at the university, says the team was able to make the smartphone even smarter with modifications to the cellphone camera.

This is a great idea, but what we REALLY need is a sensor to detect the steaming pile of manure (known as policy changes, store remodels, and reduced technician hours) handed down to pharmacists from upper management. Those of use who've been around awhile can detect it immediately but the new recruits and new hires rarely spot it.


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