Normally parents rely on telltale signs such as an increased/decreased appetite or perhaps a new decor where the bedroom is wallpapered with Bob Marley posters, but in two years' time they can just whip out a handheld drugs tester instead.

British scientists have been working on the Vantix biosensor for home-use, which can detect traces of weed, cocaine and other drugs in someone's saliva in mere minutes. It'll be very pricey when it becomes available in 2012 at around £350 ($550), with every test costing up to £10 ($15), but at least it tests for around 10 drugs. You'd better hope your child/employee/pet quits their drug habit pretty speedily anyway, at that price.


My guess is that it'd work much like the device Philips created for police-use, with the sensor giving a digital verdict on the fate of the drugged-out one's after-school activities. [Med Guru]