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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 3, No. 09, September 30, 2008
ISSN 1932-3018

Virus identification chips
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on a major step forward in virus identification, the use of an electronic chip to speed up the task. Viruses are essentially encoded messages that infect and re-direct targeted cells. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends virus recognition falls within the functionality of information processing.
To effectively prepare for and deal with viral epidemics, we have to:
  • Discover and describe the population of viruses
  • Identify which particular virus causes the epidemic
Individual discovery is a challenging process, from time to time earning a Nobel Prize. Over the years scientists have discovered and described about 22,000 viruses. In spite of this extensive database, the identification of the individual virus responsible for a given epidemic, could take several years.
In the early 2000s, inventors created ViroChip, to hasten virus identification. The essential component is a glass slide on to which DNA fragments of the known 22,000 viruses have been printed. DNA and RNA from an infected patient is placed on the chip. If there is a match, a particular spot on the chip glows. ViroChip is credited with the rapid recognition of the SARS virus in 2003.
In 2008 Joseph de Risi received a Heinz Award for his work on the ViroChip. (Dreifus, C. "From now on, I don't think there is going to be any new viral epidemic that we will not be able to indentify within a few days", New York Times, October 7, 2008, p. D2.)
Researchers are actively broadening their quest for virus identification based on information technology. Executives should monitor progress. Keep an eye on procedures that extend beyond direct matches with databases.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.