Phone scanner could ward off stomach bugs

start-up-idea-wikicellsA mobile device that can detect if leftovers in your fridge are safe to eat could be heading to a store near you.

 

Researchers at the University of California have developed a device that attaches to mobiles and can detect Escherichia coli in liquid samples.

 

It turns a mobile phone into a miniature fluorescent microscope and has been used to test water samples and milk.

 

Outbreaks of E. coli pose a huge threat to health, especially in developing countries. Most strains of E. coli are harmless, but some strains can cause severe foodborne disease.

 

“[The phone provides] a ubiquitous platform for conducting advanced micro-analysis wherever cell phones work,” UC lead researcher Hongying Zhu says.

 

Scientists hope it can bring advanced technologies to remote and resource-poor locations, highlighting the huge demand for innovations of this nature.

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