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Silicon and Cells
As our electronic devices shrink in size and increase in power, the separation between silicon chips and living cells will diminish. In response, more biotechnology companies that team biologists and engineers are appearing in Silicon Valley. One such company is Cepheid.

Kurt Petersen, Cepheid's president says, "There is a revolution going on today in microbiology and a lot of that revolution is coming from the fact that for many years we've been making integrated circuits. We've been making these little chips that process electronic signals. And we're starting to realize that those same techniques for making these electronics chips can be used to analyze microbes."

Cepheid and other biothechnology companies are developing hand-held devices that can identify microbes by extracting and sequencing their DNA. Medical personnel will be able to inject a sample inside the device and quickly identify all the microbes present in that sample. What takes days in a lab today, will soon take only minutes onsite or at bedside. It would be a tremendous help in the fight against disease.

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