DNA Sensors Getting Ready to Sniff Out Terrorist Attacks – Homeland Security Outlook

Sensors often are the first line of defense against a chemical or biological attack, but up until now they’ve often relied on lasers to detect the minute quantities of substances needed to identify an attack quickly. That’s made them expensive to build and difficult to maintain.

Now, researchers at the MITRE Corporation are developing genetically engineered bio-sensors, and while they’re still a few years from the marketplace, these sensors promise to be even more accurate than today’s detection devices – and they’ll cost far less. That’s because in the micro and nano-scale realms in which sensors operate, it’s a lot easier to replicate and test DNA strands than it is to assemble mechanical or electronic parts.