Feeds

Lab-on-a-chip takes Eureka prize

Sniffing out the sarin

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A chip-sized lab designed to detect chemicals in small traces was among the Eureka prize-winners announced last night (August 28).

The work, led by CSIRO materials scientist Dr Yonggang Zhu, puts all of the components of a test lab into a one-square-centimeter device: channels, mixers, diffusion chambers, electrodes, pumps and valves – along with the electronics needed to deliver the result.

The prize was specifically awarded for prototypes that Dr Zhu’s group developed, demonstrating a lab-on-a-chip able to detect agents like sarin, soman, tabun and VX, “as well as their degradation products”. The detector can work from swabs, water, or soil samples, and deliver a result in about 30 seconds.

Not surprisingly, Dr Zhu’s $AU10,000 prize was for “Outstanding Science in Support of Defence or National Security”, and was sponsored by Australia’s Defence Science & Technology Organization.

As well as providing quick field analysis of samples, the idea of a disposable chip-sized analysis means there’s less chance for samples to cross-contaminate.

"Professor Zhu has developed a reliable and sensitive detection device that can provide virtually immediate, on-the-spot results with the same accuracy as a fully staffed analytical laboratory. There are no other commercially available instruments able to do this. Current devices are difficult to use, unable to be deployed in the field, and have too high a rate of false alarms," says Frank Howarth, Director of the Australian Museum in a statement.

There’s a 2010 presentation from Dr Zhu at Docstock which describes the work in detail.

The full list of winners can be found here. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.