George Whiteside's lab team looks for inexpensive, portable devices that do not require electricity. They can be used by health workers in the developing world to detect different types of infectious diseases.

"The egg beater I just used is hand-powered, locally available, it's cheap. If it breaks, it's easy to fix. It doesn't require any training. We feel that it is a good tool for health workers who do not have a good infrastructure to work within," says Malancha Gupta, a post-doctorate student in Whiteside's lab.

The team has even used basic filter paper as diagnostic equipment. It is easily transported, and can be incinerated after use to prevent further spread of disease.

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