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Pushing PCR "Out the Door"

Molecular identification techniques are rapidly changing the way we test for pathogens of concern and creating new ways for testing many different sample types. The Department of Defense is investing millions of dollars into rapid pathogen identification for military defense and population safety concerns. The world of diagnostics and environmental testing is benefiting from this investment because technology is being used for routine purposes and not just for defense....

......The RAZOR(tm) Instrument, weighing only 9.1 lbs (4.1 kg), can be carried by hand and used on-site to test samples.  Testing the sample where it is collected has practical advantages; such as sample-handling timesavings, reduction in chain-of-custody risk and most importantly, increasing speed-to-results. It is important for results from portable systems to maintain the same quality control standards of fixed assets.  Moving diagnostics closer to the scene of a potential biologic threat increases response time and lowers the chance of spreading a contagion.  Giving those responsible with scene assessment a better tool increases their operational capability and lowers the overall cost of response to such incidents.  No longer is laboratory equipment being adapted to the field, but field equipment is being developed using technologies once thought only applicable in the lab setting, state-of-the-art technology is now field applicable.

The RAZOR is a hand-portable, battery operated instrument used to identify biothreat pathogens in the field.

As mentioned earlier, the thermocycler drives the chemistry