Scientists at the Kopelman Laboratory at the University of Michigan are developing noninvasive nanosensors to test livestock diseases. One of these nanosensors could perhaps be placed in, say, a cow's saliva gland in order to detect single virus particles long before the virus has had a chance to multiply and long before disease symptoms are evident.
Researchers at the University of Pretoria, for example, are developing biochips that will detect common diseases borne by ticks. A biochip (or microarray) is a device typically made of hundreds or thousands of short strands of artificial DNA deposited precisely on a silicon circuit. Chips can be used for early disease detection in animals.
Biochips can also be used to trace the source of food and feeds. For example, a biochip tests livestock feed to detect the presence of animal products from forty different species as a means to locate the source of
Did you know?
Avian influenza, or "bird flu," is a contagious disease of animals caused by viruses that normally infect only birds and, less commonly, pigs.
pathogens—a response to public health threats such as avian flu and mad cow disease.
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