Ahram Biosystems just released a handheld PCR machine affectionately called the Palm PCR. Oh yeah baby. Now you can just strap this 330 g (with battery) puppy to your arm when you go out for a jog. Wait! Is that dead body? Throw a hair in there and amplify as you wipe the sweat of your brow (make sure it doesn’t fall inside the Palm PCR though…). But don’t get too comfy, you’ll have your 2kbp product in only 15-30 min.
“Palm PCR is powered by a Li-ion battery that enables more than 4 hours of continuous operation on a single charge. It is designed to adapt the standard 9 mm-spaced well format to use with a disposable plastic sample-tube. Nearly all kinds of DNA samples, including the human genome, can be amplified in less than 25 or 30 minutes. Even a single copy of DNA can be amplified in as little as 25 minutes to an amount sufficient for typical agarose-gel detection.”
Even the human genome!!! In 25-20 minutes!! Holy Manta Batrayman! Thankfully you can choose between white, yellow, red and blue. I want to get the Palm PCR that is the right color to match my lifestyle. VWR already has the accessories In production including leather cases, car adapter, bluetooth headset, detachable mix-and-match faces and a pipette holster.
I expect to see this on CSI soon. Of course, as one of the comments makes clear there are a lot of other things needed ti support this that are not yet portable. But the thought that I could start a PCR and then carry the machine around with me is kind of cool.