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E. Early Diagnosis of Several Foreign Animal Diseases

Narrator: This is Science Today. A rapid, early diagnostic test that can simultaneously test for several foreign animal diseases, including the viral foot-and-mouth disease that caused about $5 billion in losses to the United Kingdom five years ago, has been developed by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Veterinarian Pamela Hullinger says they worked in partnership with the University of California, Davis and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Hullinger: Homeland security is very interested in very large scale catastrophic events that impact national economy. And a disease like foot and mouth disease could be a disease that would impact this country at that scale and so they were very interested in supporting work to help on the early detection side to minimize the scope and scale, as well as to help enhance the response to foot and mouth disease outbreak, should it occur.

Narrator: Hullinger admits she didn't think such a test was possible.

Hullinger: But largely due to the technology that was developed here, it has been done. And so hopefully the country, as well as the world as a whole, is better off for this.

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