Feeds

Lab-on-a-chip takes Eureka prize

Sniffing out the sarin

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.