Re: Disease Control

Damien Broderick (
Mon, 29 Dec 1997 11:10:57 +0000

At 07:04 PM 12/28/97 +0100, Anders wrote:

>> What if humans developed a procedure which could detect most or all known
>> infectious diseases in a human that was fairly fast (< 2 hours) and
>> fairly inexpensive (< US $100)? Is such a procedure possible? What
>> would be the consequences of its availability?

>I think something like this is possible and even likely to be
>developed. We are getting better and better at bio-assays, and many
>common bacteria can be tested for very quickly (matter of minutes at
>least for some kinds).

>Viruses are harder, but the new DNA-chips combined with a miniature
>PCR device could do wonders.

Watching the news last night while doing the washing-up, I half-missed a
story that seemed to announce a new (Australian?) device-on-a-chip that
would do ten or a hundred thousand medical assays simultaneously from a
drop of blood. Not on the market yet, but projected as costing a couple of
hundred dollars each. No more trips to the path lab with a tube of blood,
all done at the local clinic from a pinprick.

Damien Broderick