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Future phones to taste our bodily fluids

The molecular delivery system uses artificial DNA to transport specific information-carrying molecules

A busy day for NTT DoCoMo brings us yet another astonishing breakthrough from the Japanese firm, this time in the shape of a chip that could soon have mobile phones analysing our blood, sweat and tears.

The key development is a molecular communication system that uses artificial DNA to transport specific information-carrying molecules. That information can be anything biological, such as markers for disease or stress.

Remote health checks

DoCoMo plans to integrate such bio-chips in phones that can take a fluid applied to an embedded sensor and look for signs of illness, for example. The results could then be transmitted across the phone network to a specialist for rapid analysis [PDF link].

The company says other applications for the technology include using it to analyse water for contaminant and, bizarrely, fortune telling. And we thought these guys were scientists.