Acoustic sensors can detect whether coconut trees are infested with parasites.
Now, a research team from the USA has developed a new system to test for Zika virus.
A cartridge containing reagents is inserted into an instrument, which is then attached to a smartphone camera.
After adding a drop of blood, any viruses present are separated from the blood cells. The mixture is warmed to 65℃ to establish the viruses’ genetic composition.
If Zika is present the liquid turns bright green, a development recorded by the phone’s camera.
The 25-minute process is easier to carry out than a PCR test, and could soon be used to detect other viruses.
An app, meanwhile, can help to diagnose Parkinson’s early on.