U.K. device tests saliva for cannabis, cocaine

A handheld device that tests saliva for cannabis or cocaine use has been developed by U.K. scientists, according to a story in the Daily Mail.

The handheld device costs 1.50 pounds ($2.35) and produces an accurate result within five minutes. It could be available within a couple of years, the story stated.

The Vantix sensor was developed to help police carry out quick roadside drug-driving tests, but it could also be used by parents or medical practitioners.

The sensor uses a disposable 5-mm chip that has antibodies that respond to particular drug chemicals, such as THC found in cannabis.

If an antibody on the chip comes into contact with its "target" chemical, a small electrical current is generated and then amplified by the larger handheld device, which emits a warning light.

The chip can be adapted to detect various chemicals, including those found in explosives, according to the story.

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