Worried that some terrorist might have smuggled anthrax onto your flight? Well, a new gizmo developed by researchers at the University of Albany and Cornell University will be able to identify if that suspicious white powder is anthrax or just baby powder — in under an hour.
The device which is shaped like a "heavily reinforced suitcase" and took seven years to create takes samples containing as little as 40 microscopic spores, then "automatically recovers cells, collects and purifies DNA and then conducts real-time polymerase chain reactions" to detect if it really is anthrax.
Designed to be small enough to be portable from the start, the suitcase gizmo should be of great use to government crime units. These gadgets could easily be stowed away on a plane, in the trunk of a police car or wherever.
Although we know it's not healthy to worry about the threat of anthrax every living second of our lives, the suitcase detector could help those who freak out at every unidentified white fleck sleep better at night.