A new study conducted in Denmark could lead to high speed detection of various diseases.
According to scientists working at the University of Copenhagen, a lot of diseases leave genetic clues in the body, in a similar way to how criminals leave DNA at the scene of a crime.
Tools used to detect the DNA-like sickness clues known as miRNAs have been slow and expensive until now, but a DNA sensor has been invented by chemistry researcher Tom Vosch and plant molecular biologist Seong Wook Yang.
The pair created the device, which couples genetic material to a luminous molecule which goes dark only in the presence of a specific target.
"We invented a probe that emits light only as long as the sample is clean. That is an unusually elegant and easy way to screen for a particular genetic target," says Mr Vosch of the Department of Chemistry's Nano Science Centre.
The new device could help doctors to diagnose diseases such as cancer much faster.