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June 15th, 2006
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed what they call a “Smart Petri Dish” that could be used to rapidly screen new drugs for toxic interactions or identify cells in the early stages of cancer circulating through a patient’s blood.
The scientists constructed their Smart Petri Dish by first fabricating silicon crystals with nanometer-sized holes. This enabled them to produce a photonic crystal, capable of controlling light within the structure analogous to the way that semiconductors transmit electricity through computer chips.
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