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New Device Detects Malaria Cheaply and Accurately

Malaria researchers at Case Western University have developed a portable malaria detector called the Rapid Assessment of Malaria device, or “RAM” for short, that uses lasers and magnets to detect malaria.

Malaria parasites release iron into the blood. When a blood sample is inserted into the device, the lasers and magnets can show whether iron particles are present. If so, then the sample is probably positive for malaria.

Field testing showed the device to be 93% accurate, compared to traditional microscopy which is only 49% accurate, and it only costs 9 cents per test, versus 50 cents for the traditional method.

“We hope to continue to gather interest over the next year as we continue to have successful field trials and improve the device further,” said John Lewandowski, one of the co-inventors.

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