South Korea Has Developed a Bacteria-Spotting Laser

The bacteria E. coli

© Science Photo Library / Alamy Stock Photo

By Morgan Goldberg Posted May 23, 2016

Soon your phone and your fridge might be able to detect E. coli.

With reports of food poisoning on the rise, South Korea has stepped in to make the culinary world a safer place. The Guardian reports that scientists there have developed a laser that detects bacteria on food surfaces.

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology created a red laser beam that creates a scatter pattern on the food, which varies depending on whether there's bacteria crawling around on it. A super-fast camera captures that pattern, and software determines whether there are any harmful microbes on your steak.

While this sounds complicated, South Korean scientists are hoping to make the technology extremely accessible. They want to attach these lasers with a dongle to cell phones and install them in smart refrigerators.

The technology can currently detect Bacillus cereus and E. coli, which are two of the most common causes of food poisoning. Hopefully, this laser will help combat food poisoning all over the world.

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