NMR Machine Shrunk to Make Portable Disease Scanner: Medical Tricorder V1.0

It's clearly "Star Trek Comes Nearly True" time, first with the life-signs detector, and now a tiny NMR machine that's effectively v1.0 of the medical tricorder. Scientists at Harvard Medical School have come up with a neat way to coat bacteria and viruses with nanoparticles, and have simultaneously shrunk all the detector electronics for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy into a 2mm-square chip. Their prototype device uses a microfluidics network and eight of these chips inside magnetic coils to detect specific nanoparticles: future versions will use more and be portable. It's apparently 800 times more sensitive than standard NMR machines, and is able to detect just 10 bacteria in a single sample. Beep Beep. [New Scientist]

Trending Stories Right Now