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Quick DNA analysis can benefit food safety

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. A device that can deliver nearly instantaneous DNA analysis has been developed by engineers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California, Riverside. Lab scientist Reg Beer says PCR detection techniques, which are typically used in labs to identify dangerous pathogens, could take hours to come back with a result.

Beer:              We wanted to go much faster than that because we wanted PCR to be able to make it into point-of-care medical diagnostics applications.

Narrator:        Beer says fast PCR detection would also benefit food safety testing.

Beer:              When you think of poultry farms, food supply-type issues, it could definitely help with salmonella outbreaks and things like that. The response time in the hit to local economies could be lessened because you could get at the source before a lot of that food is spread in the network. At some point in the future, we're actually going to address power budgets to try to make these things battery-operated and get them into the field.

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