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Life Science

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.

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