Norovirus causes about 20 million cases of food poisoning in the U.S. every year. The virus might be best known for infamous outbreaks on cruise ships, ruining vacations with severe vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. But the highly infectious virus can also strike closer to home, with water- and foodborne outbreaks occurring in municipal water systems, schools and restaurants. Today, researchers from the University of Arizona are working on an easy, inexpensive, and extremely sensitive way to detect norovirus using a cell phone and mostly off-the-shelf parts. The device could be deployed on cruise ships and other areas where labs are inaccessible.
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