Super thin and cheap chip tells you if you've got HIV in 15 mins

Getting HIV test results usually takes days for the clinic to drop the news on you, but a new credit-card-sized chip called the "mChip" only takes 15 minutes to diagnose a sample of blood. It's also only $1 and is reportedly has a 100 percent detection rate. Sounds superb, if you think you might have HIV or syphilis, right?

Man, you gotta love how science has expedited processes from weeks, to days, to hours and now, to minutes. The $1 mChip is a product of Columbia University researchers who are hoping that it'll encourage more people living in Africa to get checked for HIV, before it turns into full-blown AIDS.

All it takes is a little sample of blood, the microfluidics-based chip a cheap optical sensor to determine if a person's got HIV or not.

The mChip sounds like it'll be a hulking success, but let's not be naïve here. That 100 percent detection rate sounds reassuring, but it also has a 4-6 percent chance of producing a false positive.

Still, the researchers at Columbia are sailing full-steam ahead with plans for its mChip; a prostate cancer detecting mChip is already approved for use in Europe.

Now, if only they would start selling these chips at the local drugstore...

Nature Magazine, via Fast Company

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