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April 24th, 2005
Dr. Chris Backhouse has built a gadget he calls a "tricorder" (like a lot of engineers, he's a Star Trek fan). The tricorder uses a spinoff of nanotechnology called "microfluidics" to conduct tests for specific genetic diseases.
The incredibly tiny scale on which the tricorder operates allows a lab to use the very smallest amounts possible of the re-agents needed for gene tests - some of which cost up to $1 million per gram. Gene sequencing made it possible - nanotech is making it affordable.
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