Chemical sensors are exceedingly good at detecting a single substance or a class of chemicals, even at highly rarified concentrations. Biological noses, however, are vastly more versatile and capable of discriminating subtle cues that would confound their engineered counterparts. Unfortunately, even highly trained noses do leave a certain ambiguity when relaying a signal and are not particularly suited for work in specialized situations like operating rooms. A new DNA-based chemical sensor appears to be both extremely sensitive and discerning, making it an important stride on the path to an all-electronic nose.
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- 'Electronic nose' prototype developedTue, 21 Aug 2012, 17:04:28 EDT