The need to accurately identify and characterize biological organisms in a rapid fashion pervades almost all aspects of our life. The safety of the life essentials of food and water requires that we be able to identify and eliminate contamination at all levels of collection and distribution. Zoonotic infections, introduced either deliberately or through natural exposure, pose a cross-species threat to human life. The rise of emerging infectious diseases exacerbated by widespread international travel adds the requirement for not only rapid discovery and test distribution, but also improved treatment methods. Hospitals have become reservoirs of infectious organisms, leading to the now pervasive term ‘hospital acquired infections’ (HAI). ...

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