US firm Integrated Nano-Technologies (INT) is completing the development of a DNA-based system to test for the presence of biological pathogens, including Sars, anthrax and smallpox.
INT said that its BioDetect system will be much faster than current laboratory testing methods as it can return results in less than 30 minutes.
The device is small enough to be carried for use outdoors or installed in air circulation systems.
"Traditional biological agent detection systems involve sending samples to laboratories, where they undergo a complex testing process that can take up to 24 hours," said Michael Connolly, chief executive at INT.
"The BioDetect system will generate results in the field substantially faster and with greater accuracy than any existing system or test."
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