Coming Soon: The Pocket DNA Sequencer

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Science  16 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5388, pp. 399-401
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5388.399

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A handful of university researchers and companies are working to shrink to pocket size all types of chemistry equipment, including high-pressure liquid chromatography assays, high-throughput drug-screening systems, portable environmental screening equipment, biological weapons detectors, DNA sequencers, and even chemical production plants (see sidebar). Harking back to the microelectronics revolution, researchers refer to these chips as "microfluidics" and expect them to have some of the same impact as computer microchips. Proponents believe that the miniaturization of chemical equipment will lead to a host of as-yet-undreamed-of applications.