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Chip revolutionizes community health initiatives worldwide

 

Narrator:        This is Science Today. A team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, is developing a second-generation blood analysis chip that can diagnose dozens of infectious diseases like HIV and malaria in a matter of moments.

Dimov:            The idea is for this thing to be like a pregnancy test kit. You buy it and you put the sample on it and then you read out an answer.

Narrator:        Bioengineer Ivan Dimov explains that the disposable chip — which costs less than $1 to manufacture — could revolutionize community health initiatives in parts of the world that lack medical infrastructure.

Dimov:            A practitioner that's out on his bike in Africa going to this remote village, he would want to have 10 different infectious diseases on that chip and when he sees someone with possible symptoms, before he prescribes an antibiotic or antiviral, he would want to screen this person right on the spot because this person wouldn't have the means to go to some centralized lab to get tested. It's precisely for that, so that practitioner ,who is not necessarily with very high technical training, would be able to do testing on the spot and then make decisions based on that.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.