For the Nosy Parker Who Has Everything - A Personal DNA Analyzer

Illustration for article titled For the Nosy Parker Who Has Everything - A Personal DNA Analyzer

I'm not quite sure who the Spartan DX is aimed at, apart from a rich man determined to find out which one of his four farmhands is guilty of schtupping his daughter in the hay loft. And research labs, obviously.

Up until now all DNA analyzers have been batched, mainframe machines, which mean that results can be both slow and costly, but the Spartan DX is the first non-mainframe version—kind of like the Apple II of the DNA world. The $15,000 machine can give the results of up to four samples in just half an hour—which won't give the naughty farmhand a chance to make it over the state line.

What caught my eye, though, is what comes free with it. If you do order one of these babies you get a free iPod nano.


Product Page [Spartan Bio via Medgadget]

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Thats not actually correct. This machine is just capable of analyzing DNA through real-time PCR or endpoint analysis. Both of these procedures are done on machines now that are smaller than a microwave. Granted, they are usually connected directly to a computer. The current machines are typically designed to run up to 96 samples at a time, so only being able to run 4 with the Spartan DX seems pretty useless.

For the money, this doesn't do too much. And the iPod offer is funny, but I would say that most scientific product companies push iPods as incentives to buy their crap.