Introduction

Since the advent of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the late 1980s, investigators have sought to expand the potential of this technology to that of on-site, ''bedside'' diagnostics, in which clinical parameters can be determined in real time, without the need for transport of samples to a remote testing facility. Discoveries of clandestine bioweapons programs in Iraq and the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s led the U.S. Department of Defense to sponsor development of nucleic acid-based instruments suitable for detecting a variety of pathogens at both front-line and rear-echelon locations. As we enter the mid-2000s, both of these research initiatives have begun to yield commercial handheld instruments, capable of performing PCR and RT-PCR in real time; future devices promise to offer direct detection of target nucleic acids without the need for amplification. Other instrument packages look to provide the end-user with both sample preparation/nucleic acid extraction and detection in one portable instrument. This entry reviews existing handheld nucleic acid detection instrumentation, discusses their advantages and disadvantages, and previews newer devices and platforms expected to continue to make this area of medical diagnostics particularly innovative and exciting.

Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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