Oxford Nanopore in the UK has developed microchip sequencers that read and encode DNA by passing it through a gap in the microchip some 1.5 nanometres across – 80,000 times thinner than a human hair. A small current is passed through the DNA which encodes the genetic material into a digital record, which can be compared against disease markers– for instance, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Microchips in this size can be embedded in future in toothbrushes and smartphones. Oxford Nanopore’s current palm-sized detector is currently being used to track Ebola in West Africa. Daily Express.