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Cocaine Biosensor

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the electric-sensor-land dept.

180

Aaron Rowe writes "The MIT Technology review reports that a lab at UC Santa Barbara has created a biosensor by attaching a special type of DNA called an aptamer to a gold electrode. When cocaine is present, the aptamer tightly hugs a cocaine molecule and leans over so that a metal tag can touch the gold surface. This causes a spike in a plot of current versus voltage when the electrode is attached to a machine called a cyclic voltmeter."

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Gold? (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913167)

I'm a known gold bug [blogspot.com] and I've been very interested in the industrial applications of gold (partially to gauge demand issues for future supply). In recent months I've found gold being useful for medicine (possibly as a cancer detector most recently). Now it seems it is useful in finding drugs (although I'm sure this would be only for a police purpose, in a free market the same device might be useful in finding the best drugs).

What are the reasons for gold being used in these situations? I'm very familiar with gold's uniqueness, but it surprises me that it is becoming such a popular metal again -- even beyond the computer and audio industry. Is it really unique for these applications, or is it just a great way for the manufacturers to pad their bottom lines?

Re:Gold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913207)

Now it seems it is useful in finding drugs (although I'm sure this would be only for a police purpose, in a free market the same device might be useful in finding the best drugs).

Or, scarily, employers may be able to institute policy's that say employees may not take cocaine, even when they're not on the premises. If employers can institute a simple test that "seems" noninvasive, then it essentially becomes all the more "invasive" when you lose your job for things you've done while not at work.

Slippery slope, and all that

Re:Gold? (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913226)

I agree with you completely. While I, as a strict property rights supporter, strongly believe it is the employer's right to set whatever standards they want (even including outright prejudice of any kind), I also believe in the right of a customer to not give money to those who frown on casual drug use.

I'm not a drug user by any means (other than tobacco on rare occasions and good quality liquor infrequently), but I also don't shop at stores with an open no-drug policy. Home Depot doesn't get my business anymore, and I openly let them know that I think their policy is ridiculous.

That being said, I have penalized employees for coming to work still drunk or high. I haven't fired anyone, but I have openly reprimanded them as business IS affected if you're a mess. On the other hand, I had an employee once come to work high on Xanax or some other anti-depressent, and I was stuck as to what to do about it. Lucky for me we found her a better job elsewhere and that was off my back completely.

Re:Gold? (2, Interesting)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913366)

I'm not a drug user by any means (other than tobacco on rare occasions and good quality liquor infrequently), but I also don't shop at stores with an open no-drug policy. Home Depot doesn't get my business anymore, and I openly let them know that I think their policy is ridiculous.

Just a thought: isn't boycotting these stores going to hurt the employees too? Losing a few thousand dollars will put more pressure on jobs than it will on the no-drug policy.

(Disclaimer: I'm not condoning either drug testing or drug use.)

Re:Gold? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913384)

I've always told my employees about my political beliefs and my attitudes about what was my property. I also told them that if they didn't agree with me, they were free to get work elsewhere. The same is true at Home Depot, and is one of the wonders of free market capitalism: employees who work at and customers who shop at, Home Depot either (A) Agree with the drug policy or (B) Don't care either way. I always figured the best way to "fight drugs" is to allow businesses, employees, and customers to make these decisions instead of big bad government.

Sure, some employees likely get hurt by the loss of one customer, but how many MORE customers choose Home Depot over other stores BECAUSE of the drug policy? Probably more than choose not to shop.

I actually once passed on a decent contract because of the drug policy of the company I'd have to send my employees into. I told the business owner that he was making a really bad decision as I have never had any problems with any employee who drinks, does drugs, gambles, cheats on his wife or speeds -- in fact I've found that some of my best workers have their party device of choice. We're all sinners, I like to say.

Re:Gold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913391)

Just a thought: isn't boycotting these stores going to hurt the employees too?

And supporting stores without no-drug policies benefits their employees. Also, if boycotted stores close and non-boycotted stores succeed, the employees always have somewhere to go, or the ability to set up their own store without a no-drug policy.

Re:Gold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913565)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees how disruptive antidepressants can be to normal functioning. Too many Prozac cyborgs openly walk the streets nowadays. It's sick.

Re:Gold? (3, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913579)

Xanax isn't an antidepressant. It's a member of the benzodiazapine class of drugs (the most common one actually). Benzodiazapines are the "drug of the day" for Anti-anxiety and also for anaesthesia in high doses. It does the same thing as barbiturates (Qualudes) and Codeine/Morphine/Heroine did in their times respectively. Your employee was probably placed on Xanax temporarily as her medical provider put her on a regime of anti-depressants (Prozac, Paxil, or something else). The Xanax is there to serve essentially as a sedative. This is common practice, especially with patients considered a suicide risk by their Doctors (As sedated people generally don't kill themselves) alhough at the same time is something of risk itself, as it is possible to commit suicide through Benzodiazapine overdose, just as it is possible with Barbiturates, or Opiates. But the medical community has weighed this risk, and generally sedates mild suicide risk patients, while those considered at high risk are generally hospitalized.

Torn & Amused (1)

absinthminded64 (883630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913702)

I can understand the reasons for a business such as home depot needing to test their employees for drug use but I think it's more of an insurance/legality thing for them. It's one of the only stores that I know of that often has a few hundred lbs of moving merchandise on a moving forklift several feet above customers heads. So, I don't want someone who's just done a line at the wheel.

But do I feel safer knowing that Home Depot does drug testing?! HELL NO! It's just piss in a bottle and quite often it's origins are not of the piss'er.

Comply with laws, legal requirements and fuck the customer. If they really wanted to ensure that customers didn't get CinderBlockHeadItus then they could subject each employee to a simple peer evaluated sobriety /motor skills test at the beginning of each shift.

What a crock. I think i'll shop at Lowes now.

Re:Gold? (3, Insightful)

rjmars97 (946970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913765)

I feel the same way about employer's rights... I'm sick hearing about "affirmative action" and such to "balance" a workplace. Race/gender/etc should not be a factor in getting a job, only job related functions should have any kind of impact.

However, I have had the misfortune of being a co-worker of more than one drug user, and that experience has influenced me so that I will not work at a company that does not have a zero-tolerance drug policy. While you may choose what companies to support, I find a strictly drug-free workplace a necessity. If that said drug use does not impact the workplace in any way I could understand a company neglecting the issue, but in my experience a person's use of such drugs has a very negative impact on working conditions. If a person shows up to work stoned/drunk or otherwise impared, they should be reprimanded, and should it happen again, they should be fired. Having to deal with people in such a state is counterproductive, and in my case, very dangerious to everyone on the job site. Perhaps where you work the situation might not be directly dangerious to others, but when working with dangerious equipment such as is frequently done at my workplace, it becomes a severe danger to everyone.

Re:Gold? (4, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913227)

Gold being soft means less force is required to make a good low-resistance electrical contact. So gold is the king of conductors for contact applications. Add to that the fact that it doesn't corrode or oxidize under normal conditions, it beats the two better conductors (at room temperature), silver and copper.

Re:Gold? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913244)

I'm aware of those aspects, and I've always assumed that's the reason for use in medicine, but I was wondering if there were other reasons for it beyond the electrical and anti-corrosive properties.

One thing though -- I was often told that gold is not as good of a conductor as copper, but the reason it is considered better is strictly because copper corrodes so quickly, and can then reduce the effectiveness of copper over gold.

Re:Gold? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913305)

hurray, you give me a chance to dig out my thousands of pages long CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (63rd Edition). The resistivity (microhm-cm) of silver, copper, gold, aluminum at 20 degrees C are (drum roll): 1.586, 1.678, 2.24, 2.6548. So that's not true about copper.

Re:Gold? (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913336)

Uh, you mean it IS true.

Over a given run of wire, you'll get less of a voltage drop with copper.

Re:Gold? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913522)

right, somehow I read parent that gold alleged better conductor than copper, which it isn't. Noticed sodium was 4.7 but measured at 0 degrees C, the guy that tried it at room temp they call "stumpy", hehehe

Re:Gold? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913439)

I'm too lazy to do the research but it has something to do with the number of electrons in the outer circle of the atom.

If I remeber right Silver only has 1 in the outer circle thus can pass the most electrons from atom to atom.

I state this completely out of my arse and relying on 15 year old high school education so someone please come by and correct me. I think I'm pretty close though from what I remeber.

The Relentless March of Science (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913806)

Could ARCHIMEDES have said : "I'm too lazy to do the research but it has something to do with the number of electrons in the outer circle of the atom" ?

Could COPERNICUS have said "I'm too lazy to do the research but it has something to do with the number of electrons in the outer circle of the atom"

Could GALILEO have said "I'm too lazy to do the research but it has something to do with the number of electrons in the outer circle of the atom"

Could NEWTON have said "I'm too lazy to do the research but it has something to do with the number of electrons in the outer circle of the atom"

NO! NOT IF THEY HAD A YEAR TO GOOGLE IT!

I'm so fucking glad to be alive and living in the AGE OF THE INTERNET it hurts!

Re: Gold? (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913228)

> I'm a known gold bug and I've been very interested in the industrial applications of gold

I'm interested in economic applications, but unfortunately I don't have as much as I need for some of the experiments I'd like to try.

Re: Gold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913698)

Hello, friend. I have contacted you because I have a business proposition I believe you would like to take, which could help you with your gold deficiency.

I am a prince from the recently deposed and hunted royal family of...

Re:Gold? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913241)

I actually came across this paper in JACS a few days ago and a tiny amount of gold is used in the electrode, primarily because it makes the chemistry of attaching the aptamer to the electrode easy. Basically, aside from being easy to tether stuff to, gold doesn't play an integral role in the analysis.

Re:Gold? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913263)

Thanks, that's the answer I was looking for. The common answer -- conductivity -- is knowledgeable to all and I appreciate those comments, but I was wondering why gold over others and you pointed me in the direction I needed to head in with my research. Much appreciated.

Re:Gold? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913315)

If you want more info, look up info on gold-thiol self assembled monolayers (SAMs). Basically, if you have a gold surface, thiols spontanteously sit down on it in an organized way. If you can attach a thol group to your molecule of interest it is easy to stick it on a gold-coated surface.

Mod down parent - Answer to his question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913243)

Conductivity

Re:Mod down parent - Answer to his question is... (3, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913355)

Actually, the answer to my question was not conductivity -- as the other repliers to my initial question show. Copper seems to be a better conductor in terms of actual conductivity.

The answer I was looking for was why gold specifically for this application and medical applications in general, above and beyond the typical electronic applications.

Re:Mod down parent - Answer to his question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913538)

If i had to hazard a guess, i'd say oxidation number was the key for medical applications. Copper being fairly reactive if given a chance, is pretty toxic to a number of organisms. I would wager that gold is significantly less so.

Re:Gold? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913529)

It's just an element. The scientists in question aren't particularly concerned with its attractiveness, seemingly mystical attraction, or monetary worth. Like any other chemical, it has a range of uses. Here, it's fairly inert from an oxidative standpoint, yet is relatively easy to attach thiol groups to. In addition, it's conductive. Nothing to see here...

Re:Gold? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913570)

Gold leaf. Gold is capable of being made a lot thinner and smoother-faced than most other metals and its high conductivity generally makes an excellent substrate for these sorts of uses. SEE ALSO: scanning tunneling microscope and others.

god DAMNIT (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913172)

Great, there goes my job.

Re:god DAMNIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913624)

are you a guy that dresses up in a dog suit and does cocaine at the airport too?

Where can I get one? (2, Funny)

h8god (946430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913173)

Will these be for sale to the public, I could use one!!

What about Aspartame? (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913175)

Or does the medical research community not care that my life is made hazardous having to work with sweets-scarfing aspartame junkies??

Posession of a controlled substance (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913183)

How they get the coke for testing?

um... officer, it's for "medical research"

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (0)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913249)

Cocaine isn't necessarily illegal. You can buy cocaine in a drug store. It is part of many common cold and head-ache medicines. It is widely prescribed by dentists and doctors. So testing people indiscriminately for cocaine use is always bound to be controvercial.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913275)

You cannot buy cocaine in a drug store. It is not in many cold remedies.

Is slashdot getting supider, or is it just you.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (3, Informative)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913321)

You are thinking of codeine which is a morphine, i.e. opium, derivative.

Currently, the medicinal use of cocaine is limited to topical anesthesia of the upper respiratory tract and eye because the vasoconstrictive properties of cocaine are desirable during procedures.
Ref [emedicine.com]

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913509)

A friend of mine worked in a compounding lab where they handled large blocks of pure cocaine on a daily basis. Security on the place was pretty tight, so maybe a sensor like this would help prevent "slippage".

Hmm, looking back at what I just wrote, I guess it's not clear which side of the law he was working for. =)

(Yeah, it was a legit pharmaceutical compounding lab. Apparently there's a wide variety of drugs you can make out of cocaine.)

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913572)

Morphine and opium are not synonymous. Opium is dried latex from the plant papaver somniferum. Morphine is one of many active ingredients in opium. Codeine is another. Morphine can be chemically processed to form diacetyl morphine, which is also known as heroin. Opium can also be processed to produce hydrocodone, oxycontin, methadone, and other, stronger drugs.

Fun fact: The drug "DXM", found in many cough syrups, is a stereoisomer to levomethorphan, an opioid.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913673)

cocaine is not available OTC or otherwise. Several analogs are used by doctors and such though. Benzocaine is used in some throat lozenges same with Lidocaine. Xylocaine I think is used as a local anasthetic during dental and other types of surgery.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (3, Informative)

fafalone (633739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913327)

Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance, it's illegal in ANY quantity with a license. Its uses are confined to a very limited number of surgeries since it's both a local anaesthetic and vasoconstrictor; that's it. It's not prescribed to patients for any reason. Your post would be true about 100 years ago, however.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913399)

IIRC cocaine is also in the solution that optometrists use to dilate your pupils.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (0, Troll)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913423)

There was also enough cocaine in a can of coca-cola to get you high if mixed with tylenol. They changed the recipe in the mid 1990s to lower the concentration, but there are still trace amounts in there with it.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913485)

Not quite.

Coca-Cola became completely cocaine-free in 1929. Even at that point there was barely 0.06 oz of cocaine in the entire year's supply of ~25 million gallons.
Ref [snopes.com]

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

scotch (102596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913683)

God I love snopes / AFU.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913561)

Huh, never heard the cocaine one before, but you may be right.

I always thought they used a dilute solution of atropine, or maybe some artificial equivalent... I'm pretty sure that atropine has been used almost exclusively in the past, but maybe they've come up with something better.

In the olden days, ladies would use a drop of solution prepared from the Belladonna bush (which incidentally means "beautiful lady" in Italian), so called because this would dilate the pupils, and larger pupils were supposed to make the eyes deeper and more beautiful. Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade, as it's also known, produces a bunch of different alkalis, one of them being atropine. Forgive me; I'm a bit of a botany geek.

It's also supposed to make quite the hallucinogen when made into an ointment that's applied to the skin. I've never had the privilege, but it might be entertaining to use on someone you hate.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913405)

Your post would be true about 100 years ago, however.

Yep. 100 (or so) years ago you could get Cocaine in a bottle mixed with Liquor and Caffeine advertised with such catchy slogans as:

"an intellectual brain tonic"
"a most wonderful invigorator of the sexual organs"
"sustains and refreshes both the body and brain"

The most famous products were Vin Mariani and French Wine Coca (a copy of Vin Mariani by John Pemberton, the pharmacist who brought us Coca-Cola, which came about about when Pemberton had to take the alcohol out of his liquor product in response to the American prohibition.)

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913438)

Of course it's not prescribed to patients for any reason. Hell, you just need to go down to your local corner, corner store. No prescription necessary.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913344)

Are you sure you don't mean codeine?

I know Coca-Cola had cocaine when it was first invented, and many sodas at the time were considered medically beneficial, but aside from that...

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (4, Informative)

fafalone (633739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913361)

Researchers can obtain a license from the DEA to acquire (from a company possessing a DEA license to manufacture/distribute, which every major chemical company like Mallinkrodt or Sigma Aldrich has) and possess controlled substances. It's not easy to get, they obsessively track what you purchase and you have to file paperwork accouting for every last bit of it, but many such licenses exist. For more information on obtaining such licenses, see: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugreg/index.ht ml [usdoj.gov]

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (4, Informative)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913431)

How they get the coke for testing?

It's simple. Somebody whips out a twenty dollar bill out of their pocket, because ten out of eleven [tafkac.org] bills have cocaine on them.

Re:Posession of a controlled substance (1)

yosemite (6592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913614)

This is very interesting, now I'll think about this every time I'm talking to a cop..

uh what (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913188)

slashweed, dope for stoners, how to not get busted?

In related news (0)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913200)

crackheads around the USA mourne.

Re:In related news (1)

TaGirl_Keri (627106) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913483)

G.W.Bush unavailable for comment.

Other uses? (1, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913203)

There are already plenty of "instant" drug detection kits, but I wonder what OTHER uses this technology will have?

Re:Other uses? (2, Funny)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913383)

I'll tell you what! I set up a business that sees a lot of cash go through it: a fast-food restaurant or a network of vending machines. I process all cash I take in through some sort of molecular scrubber based on these molecules. I pick up all the miniscule clumps of cocaine that are on the bills. http://www.snopes.com/business/money/cocaine.asp [snopes.com] I then invest those monies back into more cash-accumulating businesses and extract more and more cocaine.

Re:Other uses? (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913607)

Hey now, some people like to know with a reasonable certianty that their cocaine hasn't been riding around in the ass area of some fat, sweaty fast food resturant patrons. It's just not classy to snort up stray fecal matter and/or dead hepatitis particles.

UCSB (5, Funny)

s0rbix (629316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913204)

and seconds after they turned it on, the sensor was activated by a passing UCSB undergrad...

Re:UCSB (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913502)

University of Casual Sex and Beer

Re:UCSB (1)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913593)

and seconds after they turned it on, the sensor was activated by a passing UCSB undergrad...
I got my Ph.D. at UCSB, and I had to laugh when I read this.
Adam Sandler played some live shows at UCSB during my years there. The live recordings of at least the first couple of versions of the Chanukah/Hanukkah Song were recorded there, and inside the album What The Hell Happened To Me?, you can see pictures of Sandler at one of those shows, wearing a UCSB cap.
So I tell people: "Y'know that part of the Hanukkah Song when Sandler sings 'so drink your gin-and-tonica and smoke your marijuanica,' and the crowd goes nuts? Yep, that's where I got my Ph.D."

Re:UCSB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913620)

Ah yes, good old UCSB, or as it was better known when I was an undergrad there:

U
Can
Study
Buzzed

:)

kinky (4, Funny)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913233)

When cocaine is present, the aptamer tightly hugs a cocaine molecule and leans over so that a metal tag can touch the gold surface.

Sounds kinky. Makes me regret not listening during chemistry class.

Pryor art? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913239)

"When cocaine is present, the aptamer tightly hugs a cocaine molecule"

This aptameter sounds a lot like $FamousEightiesCelebrity. I hope someone secured a patent, or there's going to be a horde of lawyers mucking around!

Re:Pryor art? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913282)

Cocaine's a hell of a drug!

Competetive technology (4, Funny)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913278)

There are a lot of "Cocaine biosensors" you could hire off the street for a few dollars ah hour. They will react quite strongly when they find the compound in question (i.e. the "good stuff").

Big deal (5, Funny)

Ancil (622971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913285)

When cocaine is present, the aptamer tightly hugs a cocaine molecule and leans over so that a metal tag can touch the gold surface.
You can get the same effect with any garden-variety stripper.

Re:Big deal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913328)

You need help, you truly do, cocaine, gold, strippers? Sounds perfect for you Slashdot guys....if you are tacky and desperate and it was 1978 maybe....I think we are pretty safe unless you geeks/dudes have figured out a way for us to time travel...flash forward 2006...platinum, X, symbians....oh, bring back 1978, eh right?

Re:Big deal (2, Funny)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913613)

You can get the same effect with any garden-variety stripper.

That's an interesting garden you have. How might I go about planting my own?

cocaine? (3, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913286)

They might as well have named it the $20 bill biodetector.

i don't understand the point (-1, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913290)

are we trying to turn computers into cokeheads?

ohhhhhhh...

nevermind

Dogs out of work? (3, Funny)

ewg (158266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913301)

Does this mean all those drug-sniffing dogs are out of work?

Re:Dogs out of work? (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913443)

Maybe out of work [www.cbc.ca] but would have a hay-day being owned by a Slashdotter on crack!

Much more than cocaine (4, Interesting)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913303)

It has the potential to measure concentrations of thereputic/analgesic drugs too. Imagine an needle with appropriate probes inside which constantly monitor the blood concentration of drugs. Wires lead to an IV control which then administers the drugs at precisely the rate required.

This is, of course, a very hypothetical future - it might not work out this well.

Re:Much more than cocaine (2, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913409)

I remeber a role playing game called Rifts that had a class known as the Jucier that had this very technology. They were typlically amped to the maximium body potential, but this cut their average life expectancy to around 5-10 years after getting "jucied"

See more here Palladium Books [palladiumbooks.com]

sounds fragile (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913518)

contamination... physical scraping... oxidation...

I think there is enough dust and grime to mess up this sort of tech in real-world usage.

Sweet!!! (5, Funny)

LandownEyes (838725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913307)

No more crawling on the floor at 4am!!!

Go nuts around money-counters (2, Interesting)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913310)

Maybe they could install these in banks and have them thrown out after about 5 minutes because the staff were going nuts about the constant beeping every time they counted $100 bills...

Re:Go nuts around money-counters (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913404)

Surely if you've just blown all your money on cocaine, you're only going to have singles left to make use of it...

testing (4, Interesting)

evoltap (863300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913326)

One would hope that this would lead to methods that would be available to employers who currently only test for marijuana. Supposedly cannibus will show up even it it was consumed a month prior, cocaine on the other hand does not show up.

Of course if you look at the history of the CIA in the 80's, one might hypothesize that the government has no interest in stopping cocaine consumption.

At least we all know marijuana is very bad.....there's this new movie out, Reefer Madness......really informative.

Re:testing (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913467)

I wonder if the over crimilization of Marajuana and the more relaxed stance (still crimilaized but not as evident) on cocaine because cocaine is more of a productivity generator while marajuana is more of a demotevator?

Re:testing (1)

evoltap (863300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913612)

Could be....i've always assumed that the govt saw the mind opening nature of marijuana as a threat. Although maybe a demotivator for some, many artists and people in all walks of life find marijuana usefull for inspiration/perspective change.

Re:testing (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913749)

Yes, but many is a good word to use as most end up sitting on the couch with no job. I was one of the few that found a bit of insperation got off of it and went on with my life. Most people I use to hang out with are in their 30's still getting high and working at crap jobs like McDonalds or Walmart.

If This Thing Short Circuits (2, Funny)

highwaytohell (621667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913332)

Do users get a different type of buzz?? Bet Robert Downey Jr will try to quash this technology ASAP.

big surprise (3, Funny)

schematix (533634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913342)

As a recent grad of UCSB, i'd have to say they picked the perfect place to develop a cocaine sensor. The students and faculty will have no problem finding suitable substances to test it on.

All the right, strapping sensual buzzwords... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913351)

"attaching a special"... "an aptamer to a gold electrode."... "...the aptamer tightly hugs..." "...and leans over so that a metal tag can touch the gold surface. This causes a spike in a plot of current versus voltage when the electrode is attached to a machine called a cyclic voltmeter."

heheh Funny... slash imageword: "straps"

HIGH-VOLTAGE? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913382)

Cocaine & Electricity? Well, talk about "HIGH"-VOLTAGE!!! :)

(Yes, bad joke, I know... but the opportunity for humor was there, so I took advantage!)

APK

Dogs revolt (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913406)

Have you hugged a cocaine molecule today?

In other news, dogs are arguing that this will eliminate hundreds of jobs, putting many on the street to fend for themselves.

Obligatory (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913414)

[...] created a biosensor by attaching a special type of DNA called an aptamer to a gold electrode.

The difficult bit was persuading George W Bush to swap the silver spoon for a gold one.

Re:Obligatory (1)

megify (873328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913701)

when the gold spoon wraps itself around his face, all goverment testing of this thing will stop...

Convience (2, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913458)

Theese things are going to end up for sale on the counters at convience stores, right next to the roses in the little glass tubes & the brillo pads...

typical (1)

etzel (861288) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913469)

As soon as the sensor was activated, swat helicopters started circling the place; hidden cameras in the ceiling monitored every move; FDA agents, in cooperation with neighbors, were listening behind the walls.
That's when it hit me: It is time for more Brandy...

The real trick is.... (4, Funny)

canning (228134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913477)

At-home pregnancy tests are the model of diagnostic simplicity: a tester just pees on a stick and within minutes knows if she has to buy a crib. Imagine if one could just as easily detect HIV infection or a drug overdose.

The real challenge is getting the corse to pee on the stick. I suggest the 'old hand in the warm water' trick.

This is it! (2, Funny)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913601)

Now the War on Drugs will *surely* be won in short order!

How sensitive is it? (1)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913603)

Since its pretty common knowledge that roughly 80% of US paper money is contaminated with cocaine, the more cash you carry the more likely the government will bust you as a drug dealer :)

Extensive research, measured in kilos (4, Funny)

smoon (16873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913611)

It ended up taking about 68 kilos of cocaine to finally nail down the winning formula, reported biochemist George Placky. "We put in a lot of long nights, in fact we frequently would stay in the lab for 72 hours straight." "The team worked so hard we tried to accomodate them wherever possible." Indeed the lab is awash with stereo equipment, couches, and large screen TVs.

Univeristy officials confirmed the long nights. Security guard Paul Costas remakred "Yeah, those guys were going at it for days on end. I helped them smuggle chicks into their parti..ahh *research*."

"We feel that with another couple of years we will have similar sensors for crystal meth, heroin, and extasy." said Dr. Placky, who is currently applying for federal grants to fund the research, as well as provide sufficient quantities of the substances for thorough research.

Re:Extensive research, measured in kilos (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913687)

lol
Buddy, you deserve an award for that one !
I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Addendum (2, Funny)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913631)

When asked if the device could register false positives, the researchers responded, "She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine."

I Volunteer (1)

Cranky Weasel (946893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913649)

Are they sure that they've established true causality? Are they sure it's the cocaine?

I volunteer to snort some cocaine (I'll need more than a molecule) and touch a gold surface they've provided if the urge strike me. And I volunteer to keep doing it at 30 minute intervals until all of the cocaine is gone.

All in the interests of science, of course.

Beta Testers? (1)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913662)

I am interested in your 0-day, and would like to offer my services as a Beta Tester.

U Can Study Buzzed (1)

HalWasRight (857007) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913801)

Go figured they'd detect Cocaine at UCSB. I went there in the 80's, and I detected plenty of coke. Also the same school where a Psych grad got busted for stealing cocaine from lab rats.
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