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Working with a smartphone, the device can use different modes to display cell images.

Device developed by UCLA and Swedish scientists would make genetic tests available in remote areas

Meghan Steele Horan | January 17, 2017

Just like an alphabet is made up of individual letters, DNA is composed of chemical bases. And in the same way that letters must be placed in a specific order to form words and sentences, the sequence of chemical bases is incredibly important in how DNA functions and codes our lives.

One reason scientists pay close attention to DNA sequence is that it can help them identify a gene or a mutation that may cause a disease. But the analysis typically requires sending patients’ cell and tissue samples to well-equipped labs, which in many cases are located far away. This is a particular challenge in settings with limited resources — in developing countries and underdeveloped communities, for example — where health care workers do not always have the tools or the expertise to conduct DNA sequencing analysis.

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