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Biosensor cradle turns your iPhone into a medical tricorder

Researchers create an iPhone biosensor cradle that could give doctors a cheaper, portable medical testing machine.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a shiny new accessory for you iPhone that turns it into a mobile biosensor--or what's better known to sci-fi geeks and trekkies as a medical tricorder.

The researchers say their powerful biosensor is useful for toxins and pathogen testing as well as diagnosing other medical issues. The device consists of a cradle that contains an assortment of lenses and filters that line up with the camera.

Although the cradle only costs $200, the researchers say the device will come equipped with a photonic crystal slide that's as accurate as $50,000 laboratory spectrometers used to decipher the molecules in a given sample.

Ultimately, the research team hopes that a device like this will allow doctors to take medical testing outside of the lab and bring it to an inexpensive but accurate handheld device.

[University of Illinois via Macgasm]

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