Biochip advances enable next-generation sequencing technologies

Biochips are essentially tiny laboratories designed to function inside living organisms, and they are driving next-generation DNA sequencing technologies. This powerful combination is capable of solving unique and important ...

A SMART(er) way to track influenza

In April 2009, the world took notice as reports surfaced of a virus in Mexico that had mutated from pigs and was being passed from human to human. The H1N1 "swine flu," as the virus was named, circulated worldwide, killing ...

Giving research a boost with cheaper biochips

An EPFL invention has drastically reduced the cost of producing biochips, which are used to measure glucose and drug levels in the blood and to detect biomolecules and cellular signals. This development could make it possible ...

Microbial oasis discovered beneath the Atacama Desert

Two metres below the surface of the Atacama Desert there is an 'oasis' of microorganisms. Researchers from the Center of Astrobiology (Spain) and the Catholic University of the North in Chile have found it in hypersaline ...

Biochip measures glucose in saliva, not blood

For the 26 million Americans with diabetes, drawing blood is the most prevalent way to check glucose levels. It is invasive and at least minimally painful. Researchers at Brown University are working on a new sensor that ...

A chip with blood vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Biochip technology reveals 'fingerprints' of biochemical threats

( -- Argonne biochemist Daniel Schabacker could be considered a Sherlock Holmes of bioterrorism. Although he doesn’t carry around a pipe and magnifying glass as he attempts to nab the culprit, he has a far more ...

The Shrinky Dink solution

Toys don't usually inspire high-tech innovation, but Michelle Khine's childhood favorite did just that.

Proteins in gel

Biochips carrying thousands of DNA fragments are widely used for examining genetic material. Experts would also like to have biochips on which proteins are anchored. This requires a gel layer which can now be produced industrially.

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The development of biochips is a major thrust of the rapidly growing biotechnology industry, which encompasses a very diverse range of research efforts including genomics, proteomics, and pharmaceuticals, among other activities. Advances in these areas are giving scientists new methods for unravelling the complex biochemical processes occurring inside cells, with the larger goal of understanding and treating human diseases. At the same time, the semiconductor industry has been steadily perfecting the science of micro-miniaturization. The merging of these two fields in recent years has enabled biotechnologists to begin packing their traditionally bulky sensing tools into smaller and smaller spaces, onto so-called biochips. These chips are essentially miniaturized laboratories that can perform hundreds or thousands of simultaneous biochemical reactions. Biochips enable researchers to quickly screen large numbers of biological analytes for a variety of purposes, from disease diagnosis to detection of bioterrorism agents.

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