Ubiquitome, New Zealand
Since its invention in the 1980s PCR has become a cornerstone technology for life science research and is transforming molecular diagnostics. But it is only recently that PCR has emerged from the traditional laboratory to impact health and environmental screening programs. True escape from the laboratory potentially changes medical practice, proscription drug use and disease surveillance. Over the past 6 years we have developed technology to perform qPCR in resource poor settings. The device, called the Freedom4, is a battery-operated, laser optic, WiFi enabled instrument that performs qPCR and delivers comparable results to larger in-laboratory instruments. Independent testing has been carried out on a number of human pathogens and clinical samples, including E. coli STEC, influenza and norovirus. Current work with groups from across the world focuses on non-invasive genetic analysis of endangered species, environmental screening and disease surveillance. This work demonstrates the potential impact mobile applications for qPCR could deliver.
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