Scientists Create Hand-held Device for Early Detection of Bird Flu

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 24 2007 4:08 PM

A team of scientists from Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have created a hand-held device that can spot the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus within half an hour.

The device offers hope for early detection of the disease before it spreads, for available tests take at least hours to show results, reports the BBC.

Writing about the device in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers claim that the device is ‘equally sensitive and is 440 pct faster and 2,000-5,000 pct cheaper’ than commercially available tests.

According to the scientist, the mini lab will be really useful when basic healthy resource are lacking.

The researchers also said that the prototype has shown correct results within just 28 minutes when tried on H5N1 virus samples.

The H5N1 bird flu virus is highly contagious.

Though experts say that the flu cannot jump the species barrier, there are also fears that it may mutate into a virus that can be spread among humans.