The Navy is developing a new diagnostic tool to use in the field based on polarized light. From Military Medical Technology Online Edition:
Similar to the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency program to reduce the size of Global Positioning System devices from the size of a suitcase to hand-held size, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is funding work to miniaturize a laboratory sized light-based clinical fluorescence polarimeter (FP) to a size compatible for field use. The Naval Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research in Great Lakes, IL, is leading the efforts under the ONR science and technology program for Future Naval Capabilities to furnish the miniaturized equipment and light-based fluorescence polarization assays to the fleet. The goal is to develop a system that can be used in a deployed setting and rapidly aid in the diagnosis of systemic disease, immunization status, exposure to drugs-of-abuse, therapeutic drugs, environmental, and food-borne threats.