Freedom4. Credit: University of Otago

Scientists at the University of Otago in New Zealand has presented the first portable battery-powered DNA analyzer called Freedom4.

Freedom4 is about the size of a brick and since being portable, it is indeed considered to be revolutionary.

DNA analysis has been and is still is, performed in laboratories using the large and expensive equipment. The time and precision of analysis have been remarkably improved over the last two decades, it is however still a very complicated procedure.

This device enables the user to analyze viruses or bacteria and receives the results within only an hour. Using only a laptop or a smartphone and a software developed by the university.

And when considering viruses and bacteria especially. There is a distinct advantage of being portable. It enables the user to use it directly within an area where people and animals have become infected. Freedom4 can surely also be used at border controls and when conducting forensic investigations.

An independent review made by the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research was very positive. The analyzer measures up well with much larger laboratory-based systems for DNA analysis.

The aim now is to develop Freedom4 into a commercial product and the researchers have initiated a collaboration with a New Zealand company called Ubiquitome.

Revolutionary handheld DNA diagnostic unit allows lab-quality analysis in the field