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E. Coli Smartphone Scanner Could Prevent Food Poisoning

Posted By Lori Zimmer On February 27, 2012 @ 10:21 am In Design for Health,News | Comments Disabled

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could prevent food poisoning [2] before it happened? A new device developed by engineers at UCLA may be the answer. The compact prototype snaps right onto a smartphone, transforming it into an E.Coli scanner. The smart gadget would let a diner detect the harmful bacteria before they take a bite out of an infected burger [3].



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Working with your phone’s camera, the device uses quantum dots to detect E. coli proteins in the capillaries of the tested meats – a.k.a. your dinner. Glowing like a black light, the phone becomes a fluorescent microscope, illuminating E. coli [5]protein strains, and therefore warning diners if their meals have bark before they bite.

If you’ve ever experienced an onslaught of food poisoning, this portable device could be a big benefit to health, and is especially ideal for traveling. If the attachment became available, it could potentially prevent some of the 3,000 to 4,000 cases [6] of the E. coli bacteria that are reported every year.

Fluorescent [7] scanning is used on a large scale in science labs to detect the virus, and this device would offer a smaller, personal version for consumers. Although it could make you look like you’re recreating Law & Order SVU [8]at the grocery store, the attachment could raise the bar on food quality and safety, acting as a catalyst to promote more thorough food standards.

The current prototype only monitors E. coli, but could be developed to include the common salmonella bacteria [9], giving consumers the power of health safety in the palm of their hands.

Via DVICE [10]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/prevent-food-poisoning-with-this-e-coli-scanner-that-snaps-onto-your-smartphone/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/prevent-food-poisoning-with-this-e-coli-scanner-that-snaps-onto-your-smartphone/ecoli_sanner/

[2] prevent food poisoning: http://inhabitat.com/e-chromi-designer-bacteria-will-color-your-poop-according-to-what-ails-you/

[3] burger: http://inhabitat.com/mcdonalds-no-longer-selling-pink-slime-beef-treated-with-ammonia/

[4] Image: http://inhabitat.com/prevent-food-poisoning-with-this-e-coli-scanner-that-snaps-onto-your-smartphone/meat-2/

[5] illuminating E. coli : http://inhabitat.com/researchers-create-a-living-display-from-dancing-e-coli-biopixels/

[6] prevent some of the 3,000 to 4,000 cases: http://inhabitat.com/product-review-we-try-out-water-saving-vege-aqua-fruit-and-vegetable-wash/

[7] Fluorescent: http://inhabitat.com/bioluminescent-bacteria-combat-pollution-in-fragile-florida-ecosystem/

[8] Law & Order SVU : http://www.nbc.com/law-and-order-special-victims-unit/

[9] salmonella bacteria: http://inhabitat.com/extraterrestrial-microbes-could-double-the-output-of-bacteria-batteries/

[10] DVICE: http://dvice.com/archives/2012/02/smartphone-sens.php

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