NEC of Japan has announced that they are working on development of a portable DNA analysis module designed primarily for doing forensic testing in the filed. They boast the machine would provide comprehensive DNA analysis results in about thirty minutes.
Nowadays it typically takes about one day to complete a DNA analysis (one week if re-testing or confirmation is required), and a variety of different equipment is used to perform the separate processes. NEC’s new portable system, on the other hand, can perform all the processes within the same unit – and it can do it all more quickly. In particular, the compact unit can be used to: (1) take cell samples, (2) extract the DNA, (3) perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to generate copies of the DNA, (4) perform electrophoresis to measure the spacing between DNA bands (to create the genetic fingerprint), and (5) perform short tandem repeat (STR) analysis to create a unique genetic profile for the individual. In addition, the compact unit dramatically speeds up the processes – particularly the repeated heating and cooling processes performed in PCR amplification – making it possible to complete the entire DNA analysis in 25 minutes.