It's been almost 10 years since the anthrax attacks which killed five people and infected 17 others, but finally we have a legit way to detect the spores—and potentially dozens more pathogens like salmonella.
The device is small enough that it can be hauled around with you like a suitcase, testing everything you might want to put to your lips, and takes just one hour to process a sample of around 40 microscopic anthrax spores.
Funded by Kraft Foods, the US Department of Agriculture and the FDA, it was developed by researchers at Cornell and the University of Albany who started out with a suitcase-sized box that they knew their invention had to fit inside. The anthrax-detecting box uses pumps, heating and cooling elements and computer chips to process the samples, with the next step hopefully being something that can fit inside your pocket for the ever-paranoid amongst us. [PhysOrg]