IT TOOK TEN years to build the Maverick, a dorm-fridge-sized box that takes in a cartridge with a little bit of blood—more than a drop but, you know, not a pint, either—and spits out new knowledge. On the cartridge is a silicon chip carved with antibody-lined channels; if any of a range of molecules that signal things like celiac disease are floating around, they stick to the antibodies, changing the way the channel reflects infrared light. The machine goes ping. (Not literally.) “We have chips with up to 16 different tests,” says Cary Gunn, Genalyte’s CEO. “Eventually we’ll have a chip with 128 tests at once.”So, wow. Just a little bit of blood, 10 microliters or so, and you can test for 128 different diseases or markers? And it’s being tested right now, in doctors’ offices? Hmm. There’s something familiar about this, you are thinking.

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