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Germany

Mini Lab Wins German Future Prize

With their chemical lab on a chip, a team of researchers the German Future Prize 2004 on Thursday. President Horst Köhler bestowed the group with the €250,000 ($323,000) award on Thursday evening in Berlin. The biochip, developed by Rainer Hintsche (Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology), Walter Gumbrecht (Siemens) and Roland Thewes (Infineon Technologies), will allow quick, on-site patient diagnosis. The silicon chip is coated with living biological molecules that can recognize other molecules and relay the results through electrical signals. When it goes into mass production, the chip will provide a cheaper and much faster way for nearly anyone to carry out quick tests for pathogens such as BSE, SARS, poisons and other substances which otherwise require larger samples and many days.