NEC shows 2014-era portable DNA analyzer that could outpace your favorite crime drama

NEC shows 2014era portable DNA analyzer that finishes faster than most crime dramas

NEC gave us promises of truly on-the-spot forensics when it unveiled its first portable DNA analyzer back in 2007, although the reality hasn't been quite in line with the dream: its current system takes an hour to get a result and won't win any awards for sleekness. From what we're seeing of a next-generation analyzer due in 2014, those expectations are more likely to be met. The new version puts the full DNA extraction, amplification and separation processes on a newer chip that meets NEC's original goal of producing output in 25 minutes -- faster than a short cop drama, if you include the commercial breaks. Few beyond the police will be casually tossing the analyzer around given its 70.5-pound weight and $120,000 price, but a much slicker design at least gives it the profile of a small, rolling suitcase. The upgrade could be vital for identifying suspects and victims in record time; if our only worry is that NEC takes all the mystery out of our favorite TV shows, we'll be more than satisfied.