Magazine article ASEE Prism

Warbling out a Warning

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Warbling out a Warning

Article excerpt

Once upon a time, miners used canaries to determine if the air in mines was riddled with odorless, colorless, and tasteless poisonous gasses. If the canary died, it was time to run for the exit. Now researchers at the University of California-Berkeley have devised a "canary on a chip," a microelectromechanical device that could act as a warning system for biochemical attacks.The technology is a continuation of bionic chip research conducted by Boris Rubinsky, a professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, and a former grad student Yong Huang, who has a doctorate in mechanical engineering.Three years ago, they created a chip that linked a living biological cell with electronic circuitry. Now, they've determined, such a cell chip could act as a sensor. …

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