DNA testing in a briefcase

Compact system combines functions and dramatically speeds process.


At this rate, we'll all be doing our own CSI-style investigations as technology becomes increasingly mainstream. The latest example is a "briefcase DNA analysis system" that can reportedly do a complete test at crime scenes in 25 minutes, as opposed to typical lab time of one day to a week.

The system, developed by Japan's NEC and Aida Engineering, combines several functions in one device and dramatically speeds the heating and cooling processes required for DNA testing. "The compact unit can be used to: (1) take cell samples, (2) extract the DNA, (3) perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to generate copies of the DNA, (4) perform electrophoresis to measure the spacing between DNA bands (to create the genetic fingerprint), and (5) perform short tandem repeat (STR) analysis to create a unique genetic profile for the individual," according to Pink Tentacle.

This particular system is designed for law enforcement professionals, however, for release in 2008. So don't expect to do DNA analysis to find out who stole your lunch from the fridge anytime soon.

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