Narrator: This is Science Today. Foot and mouth disease, or FMD, is a highly infectious and contagious viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals. The U.S. has not had an outbreak since 1924, but the devastating outbreak among cattle in England five years ago led scientists to develop a rapid diagnostic test for FMD and six other livestock diseases. Pam Hullinger, a veterinarian at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says they collaborated with federal Homeland Security and Agriculture agencies and the University of California, Davis to come up with the new test.
Hullinger: So, what this assay allows for is the simultaneous detection of seven different diseases all in one test. Instead of taking seven different samples and testing for seven different things, you can take one sample and then basically, in a five hour time frame, you can get yes or not results for the seven different diseases in this first version of the panel.
Narrator: The cost and time savings are significant. One estimate is that the U.S. would lose $3 million dollars for every hour's delay in diagnosing FMD. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.