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B. The Laboratory of the Future

Narrator: This is Science Today. A hand held device may be the laboratory of the future. Michael Sailor, a chemistry professor at the University of California, San Diego says rather than having patients undergo a barrage of expensive tests, a bio sensor device could diagnose several deficiencies and diseases right away. This can be done by packing certain biological molecules onto a silicon wafer.

Sailor: You've got something sitting on the surface of this thing that's tuned to recognize this specific molecule. Let's say you have the AIDS antibody, we have something on that surface that can recognize the AIDS antibody. We take your blood sample and put it into there and if you've got AIDS, the color changes.

Narrator: Sailor says this silicon wafer is similar to a pentium processor chip.

Sailor: And so what we want to do is be able to sculpt maybe ten thousand or a hundred thousand little analytical patches on the silicon, feed the sample of saliva or the blood sample to the chip and have it do the thousand or ten thousand different analyses you want it to do and tell you what are all the problems with this particular sample.

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