LOCAD-PTS Handheld Microorganism Detector

LOCAD-PTS (Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development–Portable Test System) is a hand-held device that can detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in record time. The device was tested aboard the International Space Station for the first time last month.


(LOCAD-PTS, handheld biological laboratory)

The standard method of culturing suspect bacteria is far more time-consuming. Typically, the investigator must press a square of solid gel growth medium to a surface for a few moments, put it back in its package, and then let the sample incubate for a few days.

LOCAD-PTS, on the other hand, takes only a few minutes. The investigator takes a sterile dry swab (similar to a Q-tip) and rubs it on the surface. Then, ultra-clean water is flushed through the swab; a few drops of the liquid is dispensed into the LOCAD-PTS instrument.


(LOCAD-PTS reader [left] and swabbing unit [right])

Microorganisms can affect the health of both astronauts and spacecraft. (Yes, spacecraft can get "sick" from microorganisms; see Unwanted Life Forms Abound In Sick Spacecraft for details.) According to Norman Wainwright of the Charles River Laboratories in Charleston, SC:

"The ability to monitor microorganisms would be especially important on long space voyages, not only to check the health of astronauts but also to monitor electronics and structural materials, which can be corroded or otherwise damaged by certain fungi and bacteria," says Wainwright. LOCAD-PTS is designed so that "astronauts can do the analysis onboard with no need to return samples to laboratories on Earth."

This little wonder is very similar to a device described by sf author Greg Bear in his new novel Quantico. Do terrorists have engineered bio-weapons? Better use the WAGD to find out:

She had yet to bring out her WAGD - pronounced Wag-Dee, for Wright Assay Germ Detector - a biohazard analyzer the size and shape of a large magic marker. She carried two in her coat pocket...
(Read more about the WAGD germ detector with excerpts from an interview with Greg Bear)

This device is not to be confused with the famous Star Trek tricorder, of which NASA has several prototypes:

Read more at Science@NASA.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/13/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Spacex Sticks Landing! But Neglects Lateral Forces
Elon Musk and Spacex engineers will not be denied!

Asterank Database Identifies Profitable Asteroids
'Now it was a huge, charted, floating ore deposit for the entire Solar System.'- Nelson S. Bond, 1941.

China Plans Orbiting Solar Power Station
'Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from... the Sun.'- Isaac Asimov, 1941.

NASA's VestaTrek - Visit Asteroid Vesta
'At the Asteroids Homesteaders' School in Chicago... he had been shown diagrams and photographs of Vesta.'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Automated Treadmill Adjusts To Your Pace
'The auto-treadmill's bumps and gullies matched...'

Mr. Anderton, Beware This Long-Range Iris Scanner
Try keeping your eyes shut, Mr. Anderton.

Mini Statues Of You From 3D Images
'...A three-dimensional simulacrum of himself six inches high took form.'

'Forever' Camera Powered By Its Own Images
'What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour...'

Robot Chef Makes Thousands Of Dinners
'I got one of those new electronic cameras... and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second.'

Revault Wearable Private Cloud Is Too Vaporous
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres...'

Spacex Sticks Landing! But Neglects Lateral Forces
So close!

Lumo Projector Turns Kids Rooms Into Bradbury's Veldt
'The walls began to purr and recede... and presently an African veldt appeared...'

Ground Control Space Beer
Ninkasi Brewing Co. has its own space program.

Google Wants To Give Orders To Robot Armies
Or maybe they aren't bent on world domination.

Gestures Control Spider Robot Army
'What do you think - four spiders, one per floor?'

Hologram Protest World's First
'Their bodies were in their dwelling cells, but their telucid images filled the hall.'

SoSITE: US Pilots To Command DARPA Drone Army
'With a click of his pinky he brought up a pop-up menu, then selected *Kill Everyone*'

Asterank Database Identifies Profitable Asteroids
'Now it was a huge, charted, floating ore deposit for the entire Solar System.'

Pepper Spray Drones Do Crowd Control For Indian Police
'Basketball-sized, twelve feet up... they were there to enforce the law...'

Man-Made Earthquakes Now A Reality
Fracking yields unexpected increase in energy.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.