Counting molecules? There's an app for that

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have demonstrated a method for using a so-called lab-on-a-chip device and a mobile phone to determine the concentration of molecules, such as viral RNA molecules, in a sample. This digital approach can provide accurate quantitative information despite changes in timing, temperature and lighting conditions, a capability not previously possible using traditional instrumentation. The work published in the journal Analytical Chemistry points the way towards digital diagnostics for a wide range of illness and health problems.