Tiny chip is world's smallest, fastest DNA testing lab

Credit: diginfo.tv

If you've ever had blood work done, you know that it can be a bit of a hassle. Your blood is drawn, wrapped up and sent away for up to a week. Since not a lot of people have blood tests done for the heck of it, that can be a nerve-flaying week of worry and stress. Well, thanks to Panasonic, that worrisome week has been reduced to just an hour.

In a video that appears to have originated in Panasonic's Dharma Initiative-inspired laboratory, you can see just how much science will be going on during that hour. The "blood lab" has been reduced to a chip approximately the size of a quarter. A single drop of blood is applied to the chip — along with some mystery chemical — and is then inserted into something that looks a lot like a desktop printer from the late 1990s.

Once the chip is inside the printer housing, DNA is extracted from the blood. Then a rapid series of polymerase chain reactions (PCR) are completed; a nine-minute job that used to take two hours. Samples with Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are then cut out into "amplified" DNA segments, which are used to identify your genetic makeup.

What all that science means is that you can now expect tailor-made treatments for whatever ails you in about an hour. No more poor reactions to medication and no more hidden factors that the doctor only finds out about a week into treatment. Basically Dr. House just got replaced by something the size of a bit of pocket change. Hooray, science!

DigInfo, via Gizmodo

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