Narrator: This is Science Today. A team of researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and UCLA has developed a fast-acting, luminescent biosensor that can detect chemical and biological agents, including viruses. Lab researcher, Duncan McBranch says such a device could potentially make the diagnosis and treatment of disease much more efficient.
McBranch: If you've had the experience of waiting for a test to come back from the lab or the doctor's office for several days, wondering if you've got a certain disease, then you know that time could be important. Our process is very fast. It responds in less than a second and it's very simple, so it doesn't take advanced training to operate.
Narrator: The challenge now is building such a portable device that can do this in the field for multiple agents..
McBranch: Our goal right now is to prove the concept as broadly as possible. At this point we're trying to demonstrate its use for many different kinds of things. And for every species that we learn how to detect, we develop a new recognition molecule that we can add to a library.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.