With increased travel and globalization, the spread of new diseases has become a threat to global health—and global security. Whether in a rural village or an urban medical clinic, healthcare workers need diagnostics that provide answers then and there, for any disease, in order to effectively treat individual patients or widespread outbreaks.

That’s why Harshini Mukundan and her team at Los Alamos National Laboratory are working to develop a universal biosensor.

“If we are able to mimic the body’s immune recognition in the laboratory, we could have a universal strategy for the early diagnosis of all infections,” said Mukundan.

Our immune system recognizes pathogens, regardless of their origin, by identifying discrete signatures in the human host . Mukundan's team is working to imitate this ability in the laboratory, which could lead to a simple solution to diagnose all diseases and improve lives across the world.