It’s hard to find a good specialist on earth, let alone when you’re floating 240 miles above it. That’s why NASA will test the Microflow, a breadbox-sized device that instantly detects cancer and infectious diseases, and can even sense the presence of rotten food. The Canadian-made device is a “flow cytometer,” which works by analyzing microparticles in blood or other fluids and replaces hospital versions weighing hundreds of pounds. Here on Earth, the device could let people in remote communities be tested more quickly for disease, or permit on-site testing of food quality, for instance. It will be particularly advantageous in space, however, where Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will test it during his six-month ISS mission, allowing crew to monitor, diagnose and treat themselves without outside help. Now, if we could just get it down to a hand size, and use some kind of radio waves instead — oh wait, that’s not until Stardate -105352.
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